You are by law obliged to be properly insured, especially for medical expenses, during your time in the Netherlands. In addition, third-party liability insurance is absolutely essential, and if you will be living in student accommodation, it is also a good idea to have fire and furnishings insurance. Erasmus University Rotterdam strongly recommends an AON or IPS Insurance.
AON Students Insurance provides a complete and affordable insurance package for students staying in the Netherlands. The package includes all necessary - and mandatory - insurances required for an educational related stay in the Netherlands. The insurance premium is calculated per day, there are no set-up costs, administrative fees or any other charges. Visit the website: www.aonstudentinsurance.com.
IPS, the Insurance Passport for Students, is specially developed for students to study worldwide. The IPS travel insurance is specifically designed to meet the needs of exchange programmes and educational trips. IPS offers the complete cross border insurance policy for your stay all over the world. Visit the website: www.ipsinsurance.info.
Does your own insurance cover your stay in the Netherlands?
If you already have insurance, please check whether your insurance covers the complete period of your stay abroad, and what type of coverage it consists of. In our experience most foreign insurances do not sufficiently cover medical expenses in the Netherlands (e.g. due to the relatively high costs for medical care in the Netherlands), and an extra insurance package is required.
You also need to keep in mind that if you use medical services with a non-Dutch insurance card or certificate, you will most likely be asked to pay all the costs in advance, and arrange the refund with your insurance provider yourself. Therefore, we advise you to contact either AON insurance or IPS insurance for advice on which insurance package is appropriate in your situation.
Types of health insurances
Private healthcare insurance
Private healthcare agreements for international students will most likely suffice for you if you do not have a (part time) job or an internship that pays you more than € 150 per month.
European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)
If you are a citizen from the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland, you can apply for a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). You can obtain the European Health Insurance Card free-of-charge by contacting your local health authority. EHIC will cover the most basic and emergency healthcare costs. Please note that an additional insurance package might be necessary for adequate coverage for medical expenses in the Netherlands!
Basic health insurance (Basisverzekering)
From the moment you start a (part time) job or an internship that pays you more than €150 per month, you will have to take out basic healthcare insurance, even if another health insurance provider covers you.
Third-party liability insurance
A third-party liability insurance is absolutely essential when living in the Netherlands, and we strongly recommend international students to buy one when studying here. Both the AON as well as the Lipmann insurance cover liability.
Health care in the Netherlands
General Practitioner: In first instance the family doctor (in Dutch 'huisarts') takes care of medical questions or medical help. For lesser illnesses, the family doctor holds office hours, but only by appointment. Most general practitioners speak English, but it is important to check if they participate in your insurance company. For more specialised expertise family doctors can send patients to specialists, dentists, eye doctors by referral.
Pharmacy: Most medicines are only available on prescription. You will receive the prescription from the general practitioner and you can get your medicine(s) at a pharmacy (in Dutch 'apotheek'). The chemist's sells medicines such as aspirin and cough medicine, which require no prescription, over the counter. There is always a pharmacy open, also at weekends. Every pharmacy has a notice stating which one is open during the weekend and in the evenings.
For more information about the Dutch health care, click here.