Two doctors view an x-ray on a laptop
Source: Antoni Shkraba
This is how compulsory health insurance works
Last updated: 6/25/2024, 1:08 PM

Everyone in the Netherlands has health insurance. It is compulsory. The health insurer then pays for your medically necessary care, such as visits to the general practitioner.

You are obliged to have insurance

In the Netherlands, everyone from the age of 18 is required to have their own health insurance. This is the compulsory basic insurance. Children up to the age of 18 can be enrolled in one parent's insurance free of charge.

When you take out basic insurance, you can choose from several insurance companies. The price for basic insurance can vary a bit from one insurance company to the other, but not very much.

In addition, you have the supplementary insurance. This is voluntary and not compulsory. For example, if you do not make a lot of use of physiotherapy or psychological help, choose a supplementary insurance that fits your needs. It is good to consider what kind of care you need.

These are your monthly healthcare costs

For basic insurance, you pay a monthly amount yourself. This is called a 'premie' (premium). From this amount the basic insurance pays a large part of your necessary medical care - for example, visits to the general practitioner, certain medications and necessary treatments in the hospital or the psychologist.

If you also have supplementary insurance, you will pay more money per month. The insurance will then pay for some additional care in addition to the necessary care. You can choose the supplementary insurance yourself, such as dental insurance. So what you pay per month depends on your insurance.

You pay a deductible

The basic insurance pays for most healthcare costs. You must first pay a portion yourself each year when you need special care. This is called the 'eigen risico' (deductible).

It is a mandatory amount you have to pay yourself when you incur expenses for your healthcare. In 2023, the mandatory deductible for your health insurance is €385. There is no deductible for children under the age of 18.

Your contact person at

VluchtelingenWerk Nederland (VWN)
or your social worker from another organisation can support you in taking out health insurance.

A higher deductible

Low-income care allowance

People who are over 18 years of age and have a low income are sometimes entitled to a care allowance. A care allowance is a reimbursement from the government of the cost of your health insurance. Whether you get care allowance, and how much, depends on your income and that of your potential allowance partner (this is usually your spouse). The lower your income, the more allowance you receive.

The chances are that the

Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (COA)
will already apply for care allowance for you before you move to your municipality. If you are not receiving care allowance yet, your contact at VWN or your social worker can support you with the application.

Getting comprehensive health insurance with welfare benefits

Some municipalities allow people on welfare benefits to purchase extended health insurance. You are entitled to welfare benefits if you do not have enough income or savings to support yourself. You will recevie welfare benefits if you do not qualify for any other provision or benefit.

If you do receive social security benefits and are able to choose to take out extended health insurance in your municipality, you pay a higher amount per month, but have no deductible when you need medical assistance.

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