Coming from abroad
Compulsory Health Insurance
Everyone who lives and/or works in the Netherlands must have health insurance to cover medical expenses. Health insurance is taken out with a health insurer.
Basic Health Insurance and Supplementary Insurance
The health insurance consists of a compulsory basic health insurance and a voluntary supplementary insurance.
The basic health insurance covers any medically necessary healthcare, such as:
- general practitioner
The monthly premium for the basic health insurance is approximately € 110. The first € 350 (2013) in healthcare expenses are not covered. This does not apply to general practitioners and obstetricians expenses. Children up to the age of 18 do not pay any premium and are not subject to any policy excess.
Note that children must be registered with the health insurer within four months of birth. Healthcare expenses incurred for children who are registered late are payable by the parents themselves.
You can take out supplementary insurance for, e.g.:
- dental care
- glasses and contact lenses
Visit the websites of the different health insurers to see which health insurer and which healthcare insurance suits you best. You can also check with your municipality, sports club or employer whether you qualify for group health insurance.
Care allowance is a contribution towards the health insurance premium. Visit www.toeslagen.nl to calculate whether you qualify for care allowance. Care allowance also applies to children aged 18 and over living at home. Care allowance is not dependent on the parents’ income.
If you are not insured, you will receive a letter from the Healthcare Insurance Board [see website CVZ] reminding you to take out Dutch health insurance within three months. If you do not take out health insurance, you will pay a penalty of over € 369,51. After a second penalty you will be registered for health insurance. The premium will be deducted directly from your wages or benefit. If you have incorrectly received the CVZ letter, please ask the Social Insurance Bank [see website SVB] to conduct an investigation. For more information see www.svb.nl.
You are to register for health insurance within four months of taking up residence and/or starting work in the Netherlands. The health insurance will take effect upon commencement of your lawful residence in the Netherlands. From that date you will also pay premium.
Provisional or Regular Residence Permit
Pending a Regular Residence Permit [VVR] you cannot take out Dutch health insurance. With a Provisional Residence Permit [MVV] you cannot take out health insurance either. You cannot take out health insurance until the Immigration and Naturalization Service has issued the residence permit.
If you are not lawfully residing in the Netherlands, you cannot take out Dutch statutory health insurance. You are, however, entitled to medically necessary care by, e.g., a general practitioner or a hospital. It will be reviewed whether you can pay the healthcare expenses incurred yourself. If not, hospitals and general practitioners will be compensated by the government. This provision also applies to obstetricians assisting pregnant women without papers.
If your premium is overdue, you need to avoid having to pay a higher premium. The health insurer will send you a letter after two months of arrears. You can then make a payment arrangement. After four months of arrears you will receive another warning. Make a payment arrangement in time or go to your municipality for assistance in paying your debts.
In the event of six months’ payment arrears, your health insurer will report you to the CVZ. Your premium will be increased. The amount due will be deducted directly from your wages or benefit. The increased premium will end once the entire debt has been paid or if you made arrangements for debt counselling.
What to do in the event of payment arrears:
- Respond to letters from your health insurer.
- Make a payment arrangement with your health insurer or the debt collection agency.
- Apply for debt counselling with the municipality if you have other debts as well.