The Dutch Healthcare system

If you are living (or working) in the Netherlands it is a requirement that you have taken out basic health insurance. The Dutch government determines what is included in this basic package. In any case, this is medically necessary care that everyone in the Netherlands is entitled to. This ensures that a high quality of care is accessible to everyone. In this article we will explain you in details how the healthcare system in the Netherlands works.

How is health insurance arranged in the Netherlands?

If you live or work in the Netherlands, you are obliged to take out basic health insurance. These are the features of the basic package:

  • if you live or work in the Netherlands, the basic insurance is compulsory, also for children;
  • the basic package is the same for every citizen;
  • the government determines the content of this package;
  • the contents of the basic package may change annually;
  • the government determines the amount of the deductible and the amount of the healthcare allowance;
  • No deductible applies to visits to the general practitioner and obstetrician general practitioner care.

Deductibles ( or Own risk )

The deductible is an amount that you have to pay when you incur healthcare costs. The amount of the deductible in 2019 was EUR 385. When you use care, you pay the first 385 euros yourself. The health insurer pays all other costs. This is true for people 18 years or older. The amount of the compulsory deductible is determined annually by the government.

Why a deductible?

Because you are solely responsible for the first part of the healthcare costs, the insurance premium remains lower and you become more aware of the costs for healthcare.

In addition to a mandatory personal contribution, you can choose to increase the deductible. If you do so, the premium you pay will be lower. You can increase the deductible by a maximum of 500 euros.

Supplementary health insurance

Supplementary health insurance is insurance for care that is not included in the basic package. This includes, for example, a visit to the dentist or a physiotherapist. This additional insurance is not mandatory and therefore is completely up to you if you would like to add it as extra care to your insurance.

The health insurers themselves determine the reimbursement and premium of the supplementary insurance. The government does not regulate this and only determines what is included in the basic insurance.

Basic healthcare system in the Netherlands

Everyone who lives or works in the Netherlands is entitled to care from the basic package. In the Netherlands there are four system laws, which form the basis of the Dutch healthcare system:

The Health Insurance Act

The Health Insurance Act guarantees every Dutch person a broad basic package of healthcare. This also includes reimbursement. If you are older than 18, you are obliged to take out basic insurance that covers standard care, such as a visit to the GP.

The Long-Term Care Act

As of 2015, the Long-Term Care Act replaces the General Exceptional Medical Expenses Act. The Long-Term Care Act has been created for people who need 24-hour care or permanent supervision.

The Social Support Act

The Social Support Act provides support to people with a disability or hindrance. In this way, people with disabilities can also participate in society and they can continue to live at home.

The Youth Act

Under the Youth Act, the municipality is responsible for providing help, support and care to young people with a difficult upbringing, psychological problems and disorders.

The philosophy behind the current Dutch healthcare system is based on well-known international principles: access to care for everyone, solidarity through compulsory and accessible health insurance for everyone, and good quality of care. Do you have any questions after reading this article? Then visit the website of the National Government.

For more information about the Dutch Healthcare system visit Health for internationals. They cover and know everything there is to know about the Dutch Healthcare.

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