Health insurance in the Netherlands

Relocating to the Netherlands comes with its fair share of new systems to navigate, and one important system that expats need to navigate upon their arrival is health insurance. Getting familiar with the Dutch healthcare system and its intricacies can be a puzzle, so let’s break down the key points to help you get to know the Dutch health insurance landscape.

Getting started for new arrivals
First things first, before registering for health insurance in The Netherlands, you must be registered at City Hall and receive your BSN (Burgerservicenummer) number. After registration you can apply for health insurance and your coverage will come into effect, retroactively from the date of your City Hall registration. If you have children under 18, they will be exempt from paying health insurance premiums or policy excess, however, they must be registered with a health insurer within four months after their birth.

Health insurance coverage commences from the date of your registration as a resident because all residents of the Netherlands are required, by law, to have basic health insurance coverage. This coverage is intended to provide essential health insurance which covers primary medical care, hospital treatment, prescriptions, dental care for those under 18, maternity care, and selected therapies. It is up to you to choose if you would like to add supplementary insurance, which may cover expenses like dental care for adults, physiotherapy, glasses, contact lenses, and alternative medical products.

Understanding the system
Health insurance premiums are not based on an individual’s health status, age, or other risk factors. Instead, insurers are required to offer the same basic insurance package at the same price to all individuals within a specific age group. This promotes fairness and prevents discrimination based on health status.

To further enhance social solidarity, the Dutch government implements a system of risk equalization. This involves the redistribution of funds among health insurers to compensate for differences in the health risks of their insured populations. Insurers with a higher proportion of older or sicker individuals receive financial support from insurers with healthier populations.

The social solidarity principle ensures that everyone has access to essential healthcare services, regardless of their financial situation or health status. This helps prevent the creation of a two-tiered healthcare system and promotes a sense of shared responsibility for the health of the entire population.

The Dutch system seeks to create a fair and inclusive healthcare system that benefits the entire population.

Navigating health insurance in the Netherlands may seem complex at first, that is why we provide our expats with comprehensive support for setting up their health insurance and arranging for their medical and dental care in the Netherlands.