All internationals are required by law to have appropriate health insurance for the duration of your stay in the Netherlands. There are three general types, explained in more detail under this table.
|Basic health insurance (basisverzekering)|
From the moment you start a (part-time) job you are required by law to take out basic health care insurance, even if you are covered by another health insurance provider.
|Private health insurance|
If you are not employed, private health care agreements for international students, guests, PhDs, and researchers, will most likely suffice for you.
|European health insurance (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 when travelling in Europe.
It is strongly advised to check before you come to the Netherlands what health insurance you will have to take, and what type of coverage it consists of. Please read the last item on this page carefully, about risking a severe financial penalty when not insured for medical costs.
The BSN (Citizen Service Number) is required for concluding an insurance policy. Since in some cases the BSN is not assigned immediately and – since during certain periods of the year issuing of the BSN takes extra time – you can register provisionally at your insurer (to prevent getting a fine). As soon as the BSN is assigned, your insurance policy will be finalized, you pay your premium retroactively, and you can also declare your medical expenses retroactively over that period.
Should you run up high unforeseen medical expenses during the transition period, check as soon as possible with your HR department for financial assistance.
Basic health insurance
If you are a resident of the Netherlands (as soon as you have registered in the Municipal Personal Records (BRP), you are obliged to take out a basic health insurance in the Netherlands.
Only in certain cases if you have no income in the Netherlands and you stay for a temporary period (less than 3 years), you may be exempt from this obligation.
If you are not a resident in the Netherlands, but you do earn income in the Netherlands, then this obligation also applies to you. Consult your HR department.
If you do not take out basic health insurance within four months after the start of this obligation, you may risk getting a fine.
The premium for the basic health insurance is partly paid by you and partly by your employer. Your premium is a fixed amount, which is approximately € 120 euro per month. The nominal premium is approximately the same at all the insurers.
In addition to the nominal premium, an income-related contribution will be charged (from the employer). The Tax authorities have been designated as the administration agency imposing and collecting the income-related contribution. You can see that on top of your payslip, where it is stated that you are also insured for Zvw (ZorgVerzekeringsWet or Health Care Insurance Act ). This has no effect on the level of your income.
The basic insurance package covers the standard costs, such as a general practitioner, hospital or pharmacy. The government determines the specifications of the basic insurance package. For certain treatments you will need supplementary insurance.
Because basic insurance package is mandatory, insurers must accept all applicants. Medical exclusion based on age, gender or health is not permitted.
Children under the age of 18 are automatically insured for free under the policy of their parents.
A basic health insurance scheme obliges each insured party to pay excess (aka own risk). In 2019 the excess obligation is set at € 385. This means that you receive money from the insurer only if your annual medical expenses exceed this amount. Some insurers allow you to voluntarily select a higher policy excess. Your monthly premiums are then lower.
Not all healthcare services oblige you to pay the excess. The following costs are not included in your mandatory excess:
- General practitioner
- Dental care for children under the age of 18
- Obstetric care and maternity care
- Free population screening, such as breast cancer examinations
- Influenza vaccination for groups at risk
- Care that is reimbursed by your supplementary insurance scheme
Each year, the government sets the level of the mandatory excess.
Even if you do not have any medical expenses in the course of the year, you will not get a refund on your premium.
You have the option to take out supplementary insurance for the medical expenses that do not fall under the basic insurance package, for example, increased reimbursement for physical therapy. Supplementary insurance may differ from insurer to insurer. An insurer may reject an application for supplementary insurance based on medical history, for example.
A very common supplementary insurance is dental insurance, as this is not covered by the basic health insurance if you are over 18 years. .
Collective agreement with Zilveren Kruis
The EUR has negotiated an extensive health insurance package for its employees, with collectivity number 205213952. These negotiations have resulted in a policy with attractive premiums, a wide range of options and good supplementary terms with the health insurance company Zilveren Kruis Achmea.
Private Health Insurance
If you are not obliged to take out a basic health insurance (get advice from your HR department), you will have to conclude a cheaper health insurance via AON.
It may appear to be an insurance policy customized for students, but researchers and PhD (for example CSC scholars, or PhD who come self-financed, or with a scholarship) may also conclude this insurance policy.
AON even offers you the option of simply converting your private health insurance into a basic health insurance package (if at a later stage of your stay in the Netherlands this obligation emerges).
It is mandatory to be covered for health care expenses. The ICS Complete+ package is strongly advised, as it also includes a general liability insurance.
As this is for short term EU-travellers only, we have to refer you to your own health insurance company abroad.
If you do not take out a health insurance, you risk having to pay a penalty of around 130% of the nominal premium for each month that you are uninsured, plus a fine of around €375 if you do not pay on time.
The Dutch government organisation Zorginstituut Nederland will initially contact you with a letter in Dutch, stating that you are not insured and will be fined, even if you have already arranged insurance for your stay in the Netherlands private health insurance or a European Health Insurance Card. You can find a translation of the letter here.
If you receive such a letter, you always will need to take action. By taking action you will prevent a lot of bureaucratic hassle and financial penalties for yourself. Please use the AON Objection form in pdf, that you can find as download.
Another document, prepared by Nuffic and available as download as well, contains further instructions on how to appeal.
Then please inform firstname.lastname@example.org about your situation, so that they can check again if you are properly insured.
If you, however, received such a letter, and did not take action, you need to submit a form called ‘AWBZ insurance position’ to the SVB (Social Security Bank). Read the translation of the letter carefully for information on what you should do then.
As HR International tries to avoid this situation, we always ask our internationals without paid employment to fill out the assessment of WLZ insurance position.