When you move to the Netherlands, it’s vital to check out the health insurance policies available in the country and how much they cost. Unexpected things can happen to us wherever we are. We can get sick, or worse, be involved in an accident. Having health insurance will protect us from unexpected and towering medical costs.
The Netherlands has public health insurance available for all residents. In 2023, it costs an average of €126.83 per month. To qualify, you need to have a Dutch residence permit.
The Netherlands is one of the most appealing countries to relocate to. It’s one of the top ten places with excellent quality of life and one of the best to live and work in. Their universal healthcare is one of the best in Europe.
Reading until the end of the article will help you navigate all about health insurance in the Netherlands. Comparing quotes and knowing what they will cover will help you decide which is the best you should choose.
How much does health insurance cost in the Netherlands?
Approximately €126.83 per month is the average monthly premium for Dutch health insurance in 2022. Individuals pay their health insurance premiums directly to the company of their choice.
The amount varies depending on the chosen healthcare policy, deductible excess, and supplemental coverage (if applicable). You can see the rates of one of the largest providers on this Dutch website.
The Netherlands has a universal healthcare system called zorgverzekeringswet. This excellent standard of Dutch healthcare, rated among the best in Europe, is among the many great things about living in the Netherlands.
Residents in the Netherlands must obtain health insurance coverage to access the Dutch healthcare system, which the government manages and private insurance companies supplement.
The costs for basic insurance range from company to company. The average price of the premium is between €110 – €134 per month.
There are several essential medical services covered by Dutch basic health insurance, such as:
- A doctor’s visit and treatment
- Medicine prescribed by a physician
- Treatments and stays in hospitals
- Specialist (non-physician) healthcare
Even though ‘basic’ might suggest otherwise, basic health insurance in the Netherlands covers a lot.
Additionally, it includes:
- Care during childbirth (midwifery)
- Health programs and medical aids
- The treatment of mental and psychological disorders
- Physiotherapy for chronically ill people
- Primary dental care for children (under 18)
- Occupational therapy
- Emergency medical care abroad (up to the Dutch tariffs)
Everyone in the Netherlands has basic health insurance, regardless of which insurance company they choose. That is because the government sets up the basic healthcare package and binds it to health laws and regulations.
If you want supplemental insurance for more substantial dental care, orthodontics, and physiotherapy coverage, you need to prepare to pay a higher premium.
When it comes to public insurance coverage, income tax and other deductibles fund healthcare in the Netherlands, in addition to the mandatory premium.
Other necessary insurances in the Nethelrands
In addition to health insurance, the Dutch pay for additional insurances like home insurance and liability insurance. These policies cover you in terms of liability for damages made to properties and people. The prices vary, but it’s usually less than 20 EUR per month for both coverages.
Tax authorities collect a portion of income tax from employers, with a maximum income of around €55. According to Deloitte, a 6.75% income-related employer contribution rate for 2022 is set under the Healthcare Insurance Act (ZVW).
In addition, employers, freelancers, and owners of their own companies pay 5.75% of their income with the same maximum. Furthermore, everyone must pay 9.65% of their income for long-term medical care (maximum: €33,994).
A standard, mandatory deductible excess of €385 applies to everyone with basic health insurance. Insurance policyholders must pay this amount when they incur medical expenses.
Each year, the deductible excess accumulates and resets at the beginning of a new year. As soon as the deductible excess is fully paid, the health insurer will begin to reimburse.
There are some cases where direct reimbursement is applicable, such as when consulting a GP, receiving midwifery care, receiving supplemental care, etc.
You also have the choice to increase your deductible excess by a maximum of €500. Doing so decreases the monthly premium by about €15 to €25, depending on your insurance company. The only downside is that the deductible excess will be €885 instead of €385.
As long as they have health insurance, all residents and visitors in the Netherlands can access the healthcare system. Every Dutch resident is required to have basic public health insurance (zorgverzekeringswet – Zvw).
Those who are not required to get Zvw includes:
- Children under 18 who their parents insure or guardians
- European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) holders who are visiting the EU/EEA/Switzerland temporarily
- Visitors from outside the EU, EEA, and Switzerland who will need to purchase private health insurance
- Those who wish to make an exemption application to the Social Insurance Bank (SVB) due to conscientious objections to health insurance.
A healthcare allowance is available from the Dutch tax office if your income is below a certain level. These threshold levels were set at €29,562 for individuals and €37,885 for couples.
How expensive is Dutch healthcare?
The premiums for healthcare in the Netherlands are still comparatively affordable. Here is a table that shows how much people pay for healthcare across some of the Netherlands’ neighboring countries:
Who has to pay for health insurance in the Netherlands?
There is a high level of healthcare expenditure in the Netherlands. In 2016, the Dutch spent 10.3% of their GDP on healthcare, which was the 8th highest of all the EU/EFTA countries. In addition, they are one of only ten EU/EFTA nations that spend more than €4,000 per capita on health.
Public healthcare funding comes from insurance premiums paid to insurance companies every month (starting at around €100 per month, but this can vary from insurer to insurer). Furthermore, your company will also pay a percentage of your salary towards your health insurance.
However, this will depend on the company and the term of your contract. If you are an independent worker, you are responsible for making your own contributions, but you will pay a somewhat lower rate than someone working for a company.
Insurance policies also come with an ‘excess,’ which is the amount you must pay each year for treatment before you can claim on your insurance policy for that treatment. As of now, the amount is set at €385 per year.
As far as GPs, obstetricians, and post-natal care are concerned, you don’t need to pay the excess for these services; their services are completely free of charge.
In the Netherlands, medical treatment, including standard prescriptions, is covered by your Dutch health insurance policy. However, some treatments, such as dental care and physiotherapy, are not covered under public health insurance.
You will need to purchase a private health insurance policy to get coverage for these treatments.
Cheapest health insurance in the Netherlands
In the Netherlands, there are two main types of statutory health insurance that are available to the public:
- Basic health insurance covers common medical care under the Zorgverzekeringswet (Zvw);
- Long-term care, like nursing, falls under the Wet langdurige zorg (Wlz).
It would be accurate to say that Dutch citizens and employees are automatically insured by the government as far as long-term nursing and care is concerned (as covered by the Wlz).
However, everyone is required to carry basic health insurance of their own, except in certain circumstances.
As a temporary resident from the EU/EEA/Switzerland, if you hold a European Union Health Insurance Card, you will be covered for health insurance.
Meanwhile, visitors from outside the EU/EEA/Switzerland must get private health insurance to cover themselves if they are coming to the country.
Dutch health insurance covers all costs associated with the most common medical treatments. The scope of this coverage includes general practitioner and specialist services, medication, and most maternity care. Visit the government’s website for a complete list of healthcare services.
It’s important to remember that all insurance companies in the Netherlands offer the same basic package. You can compare policies and current prices on the Dutch comparison platform.
You will need additional insurance for extensive dental treatments, physiotherapy, or anything else the government considers your responsibility. Insurance companies compete in these areas, so you must choose wisely.
You can also find many international insurance companies operating in the Netherlands if you are looking for global health insurance, such as Cigna Global. You can also register for a public or private health insurance on Unitedconsumers.com.
Alternatively, you could use Zorgwijzer to find insurance offers from other companies. It’s possible to compare their products in different languages, including:
As an expat, you should consider the following things when comparing and choosing health insurance:
- Coverage and policy terms and conditions
- Choice of specialists and hospitals
How to register for healthcare in the Netherlands as an expat
The first thing you need to do in order to register for the Dutch healthcare system is to get your Citizen Service Number (Burgerservicenummer or BSN). If you would like to apply for this, you can do so at your local municipal office.
Then you can register for health insurance and select which insurance company you want to provide you with the coverage. You can accomplish this 2nd step by providing the following information:
- Passports and identification cards
- Proof of your address, such as a recent Dutch utility bill
- your BSN (Dutch national identification number)
- If you are working in the Netherlands, a letter from your employer confirming your employment
You can also register for a public health insurance on Unitedconsumers.com.
As soon as you are registered with a health insurance company, you will be able to register with a Dutch doctor. When you use any healthcare services in the Netherlands, you will be required to present your health insurance chip card, which you will receive when you sign up for insurance.
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