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Health insurance

Every person who lives or works in the Netherlands is legally obliged to take out standard health insurance to cover the cost of consulting a general practitioner, hospital treatment and prescription medication.

Health Care Insurance Act

Every person who lives or works in the Netherlands is legally obliged to take out a standard health insurance to cover the cost of, for example, consulting a general practitioner, hospital treatment and prescription medication. You may also opt to take out additional insurance to cover costs not included in the standard package.

The goal of the Health Insurance Act is to provide a standard, essential insurance that covers curative care costs. The insured has to have a standard health care plan; the health insurance coverage can be extended by adding supplemental medical plans. The government determines which medical care is covered by the standard heath care plan and this plan is compulsory for inhabitants of the Netherlands. The health insurers are obliged to accept anyone who applies for standard health insurance. Those insured may switch health insurer once a year.


What costs are included in the basic health care package?

  • medical care, including general practitioner, hospital care and prescribed specialist care
  • dental care (until the age of 18, as from age 18 only specialist dental care and dentures)
  • medical aid
  • reimbursement of certain medications
  • post-natal mother and baby care, midwife services, ivf treatment
  • ambulance costs and costs of transport
  • rehabilitation care (limited physiotherapy/rehabilitation, speech therapy, occupational therapy and dietary advice).


The premium consists of a nominal monthly fee for insured individuals. Besides that, employees pay an income-related contribution. Employers deduct this from your gross salary and pay this amount directly to the Tax office (Belastingdienst).

For the basic insurance, you pay a premium to the insurance company. This is known as the nominal premium. This nominal premium generally costs about € 1200,- per year per person, but will differ from year to year and per insurer. For children under the age of 18, the standard insurance is free of charge.


Depending on your income and family situation, you may be eligible for compensation. This compensation is applicable if you live alone and your income is not higher than a certain amount per year. You can find more information about this compensation (’zorgtoeslag’) on www.government.nl

If you do not live in the Netherlands

The Health Care Insurance Act applies also for those working in the Netherlands who do not (yet) live in the Netherlands. If this is the case, you are required to take out a basic insurance policy, for which you have to pay the nominal premium and the income-related contribution. In addition, you may be entitled to a health care allowance.


If you are moving abroad again, do not forget to terminate your Health Insurance contract. Otherwise you will be charged for continuing this contract.

More information

More information can be found on: www.government.nl

If you have any question about health insurance, you can also contact consumer collective UnitedConsumers. They will help you with all questions about health insurance, healthcare compensation and healthcare allowance.

You can also compare various insurance plans from insurance companies on independer.nl and zorgwijzer.nl

We have tried to give you a brief summary of the ‘basisverzekering’. No rights can be obtained regarding the above information, since we are not insurance experts!

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