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Coming from abroad

If you are in the Netherlands for study purposes only, you are not required to be insured under the Health Insurance Act.




If you have a part-time job, you are required to have a basic Dutch health insurance from the first day of work.

If you are going to do an internship for which you are being paid at least as much as the Dutch minimum wage, you are subject to compulsory insurance under the wlz scheme. Expenses are regarded as remuneration for your internship, room and board may also be regarded as such.

Start a wlz assessment and the svb will determine whether you need to be insured under the wlz scheme or not.

If you have received a letter from the CAK stating that you are ‘not insured’, it means that you do not have a Dutch basic health insurance. A Dutch basic health insurance is compulsory for people who work in the Netherlands or who are regarded as living in the Netherlands. If you think you should not have to take out a Dutch basic health insurance as you are here for study purposes only (no work, no internship), contact the Social Security Bank (in Dutch ‘Sociale Verzekeringsbank’) to request an assessment of your insurance position under the Wlz. For more information go to

In the event of a six months premium debt, your health insurer will report you to het CAK. The monthly due to het CAK is € 152,20 (2022). This new monthly premium will be deducted directly from your wages or benefit. The increased premium will end once the entire debt has been paid or if you have made arrangements for debt counselling.

Yes, the EHIC from your home country is valid in the Netherlands for necessary medical care during your stay. Check with your own health insurer before coming to the Netherlands how long the EHIC will be valid as it might expire. The EHIC will no longer be valid if you reside and/or work in the Netherlands and you are required to have a Dutch health insurance.

More information about EHIC (in Dutch)

You are not required to be insured in the Netherlands if you reside and work in the Netherlands for an employer based in your home country, you can remain insured in that country. You need to have an A1 certificate and apply for an S1 or E106 form with your health insurer in your home country. This form is used by the memberstates of the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland. With this certificate and form you can get medical care in the Netherlands.

  1. A private insurance from an insurer in the Netherlands. Ask your school if they can refer you to a private health insurer.
  2. Insurance from an insurer in your home country that provides medical health coverage in the Netherlands.
  3. International health care insurance.

Anyone who resides or works in the Netherlands is required, under the Health Insurance Act (Zorgverzekeringswet), to enroll with a health insurer to cover medical expenses within four months of arrival. The Dutch healthcare system is based on the principle of social solidarity. This means that healthy people contribute to the medical expenses of those who are ill. If you have an income or receive a social security benefit, you are also due to pay an income related premium. Depending on your situation, the percentage varies.

You need a BSN before you can apply for health insurance and the healthcare benefit.

Health insurers must accept anyone who applies for the mandatory healthcare insurance, regardless of their age or state of health. You are free to choose your own health insurer and change your health insurer once a year, with effect from January 1st.

The health insurance consists of the above mentioned mandatory health insurance and an optional supplementary insurance. There are more than forty health insurers (including labels) that offer mandatory insurances as well as optional supplementary insurances.

The mandatory health insurance covers:

  • Basic medical care; including care provided by general practitioners, medical specialists and obstetricians
  • Hospital treatment
  • Dental care up to the age of 18
  • Maternity care
  • Limited therapies such as physiotherapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy and dietary advice
  • Medical devices
  • Medical products

The supplementary insurance covers expenses that are not included in the mandatory health insurance. For example:

  • Dental care for adults
  • Physiotherapy
  • Glasses and contact lenses
  • Homeopathic or other alternative medical products

Check whether your employer offers a corporate health insurance to benefit from the discount on the premium for the mandatory health insurance.

People on a low income may be eligible for healthcare benefit to help pay for health insurance. You can apply for the healthcare benefit online or in person by making an appointment. You can call 'de BelastingTelefoon' 0800 0543 for information. Please call from abroad +31 555 385 385.

The monthly premium for the mandatory health insurance is approximately around € 123,17 (2021). Besides the monthly premium there is a mandatory policy excess. The policy excess concerns healthcare costs that are not reimbursed. The government determined that the excess for 2021 amounts to € 385,-. Medical costs that exceed this sum and are covered by your health insurance will be paid by the insurer.

Everyone over the age of 18 pays a monthly premium for the mandatory health insurance. Those who are younger than 18 years are insured and do not have to pay any premium or excess. Note that newborns must be registered with a health care insurer within four months after birth.

What you should do in the event of payment arrears:

  • Respond to letters from your health insurer.
  • Try to make a payment arrangement with your health insurer or the debt collection agency before the health insurer reports you to the CAK.
  • Apply for debt counselling with the municipality if you also have other debts.

If your premium is overdue, you risk having to pay a higher premium. The health insurer will send you a letter when you are two months or more behind on your payments. You can then request for a payment arrangement. When you are four months behind or more on you premiums, you will receive a last warning from your health insurer. Make a payment arrangement with your health insurer in time or go to your municipality for assistance to solve your debt problem.

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