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Health insurance is mandatory in the Netherlands. Every person living and/or working in the Netherlands must by law have a basic medical insurance policy. That includes expats and their families. Once you have registered as a resident in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Den Hague, Eindhoven or elsewhere in the Netherlands, you will have 4 months to choose and purchase a Dutch health insurance policy. Please note that you will not be covered by any Dutch health insurance during this time. Once you have purchased a Dutch policy, your coverage will start on the date you registered as a resident. Children under 18 are covered by their parents’ policy.
If you are a student temporarily studying in Holland and you are from the EU, the EEA or Switzerland, you will be covered by your healthcare insurance policy from your home country. In this case, you will need to ask your insurance company for a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). If you are temporarily studying in Holland and you are from outside the EU, you will need to make alternative arrangements, for example by getting a private health insurance policy with international coverage.
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Your local GP (family physician, huisarts in Dutch) is your first point of contact for non-urgent medical care. If needed, he or she will refer you to a specialist or hospital for further treatment.
If you need urgent medical care, you can go to the Accident and Emergency department (Spoedeisende Hulp) at your nearest hospital or call an ambulance using the emergency telephone number 112.
Please note: Once you have registered as a resident in the Netherlands, you will need to register with your local GP. We recommend that you do this as soon as possible, as it may be difficult to find a family doctor who will see you on short notice if you are not a registered patient. Some GPs have a waiting list or a registration procedure that takes some time. There may be several family physicians in your area. In that case you can choose the one you prefer.
If you have a (part-time) job or paid traineeship in the Netherlands and/or are a resident here and do not have a job abroad, you are required to take out Dutch health insurance, even if you already have medical insurance in your home country. This requirement does not apply to foreign students who are here temporarily and do not have a job. Foreign students are either covered by health insurance from their home country (EU and Swiss students) or should make alternative arrangements (non-EU students).
You can take out health insurance with a Dutch insurance provider. To purchase a policy, you will need your BSN (personal public service number), your bank account number and a home or postal address in the Netherlands.
You will discuss the best treatment options with your GP or specialist, including the treatment you received back home and equivalent options available in the Netherlands.
Insurance companies in the Netherlands are obliged to accept anyone who applies for a basic health insurance policy, regardless of age, gender, nationality or medical history. Professionals in all medical fields, including doctors, chemists and dentists, are legally bound to guarantee confidentiality. They cannot share private information about you with your spouse, dependents or employer without your express consent. Moreover, you are entitled by law to view your medical records.
Some specialists or specialist treatments for non-urgent care may have waiting lists. You do not have to wait to be seen by your GP; you can simply call their office and book an appointment.
Dutch doctors are relatively cautious in prescribing antibiotics due to the increasing danger of antibiotic resistance. They will first assess whether your body can fight off the infection on its own. This means that you will likely not be prescribed antibiotics for a common cold or a sore throat. However, doctors will always put your health first and prescribe the appropriate medication for your condition.
Yes, you can. Several mental health care providers in the Netherlands offer assistance in languages other than Dutch. Dutch mental healthcare is considered first-rate.
Health care premiums for basic medical coverage in the Netherlands range from around €98 to €120. In 2017 the mandatory deductible excess is €385. You can also opt for an additional voluntary deductible to bring down your monthly premium. Coverage, choice of health care provider and reimbursement method differ across policies and providers. Prices for additional coverage vary depending on the extent of coverage and the provider.
Health insurance is not tax deductible, but the Dutch government does offer healthcare benefits (they are called zorgtoeslag) for lower-income households. For more information, please visit the website of the Dutch Tax Authority.