Health insurance for expats in the Netherlands: A quick guide
As the insurance companies have now revealed their new policies and premiums for 2018, the seven-week window for changing your health insurance policy has opened. But is it worthwhile to check whether you can switch to a better and more affordable insurance company?
The answer is yes; the differences between insurance premiums can be substantial. For instance, the cheapest basic policy at insurer A could be 95 euros, whilst insurer B may charge you as much as 120 euros for that same policy. This is a significant difference, especially considering that the insurance cover is exactly the same.
So, what’s the catch?
The more expensive policies often have better conditions with respect to choosing your own healthcare provider, such as a hospital or a therapist. Cheaper policies often limit the number of hospitals that you can go to for planned treatments. It is also good to know that even for a basic policy (“basisverzekering”), there can be a difference in premium per provider, this could be as high as 10 or more euros a month.
The premiums differ even more when you need supplemental healthcare, such as dental, physiotherapy or alternative medicine. Researching and comparing different insurance policies will, therefore, ultimately be worth your while.
What does the basic health insurance cover?
In case you are wondering what the standard (basic) health insurance in the Netherlands covers, here is a list:
- Consultations and treatments by a General Practitioner (GP)
- Medication prescribed by a physician or GP
- Emergency medical transport
- Hospital stays, treatments, consultations, surgery, etc.
- Psychological healthcare
- Physiotherapy for certain chronic conditions
- Dental care for children below 18 years old
- Emergency medical care abroad according to Dutch tariffs
If the above list of services does not cover your personal medical situation, you may opt for:
- Dental care for adults
- Physiotherapy for non-chronic conditions
- Alternative healing and medication, such as acupuncture and homoeopathy
- Glasses and lenses
- Traveller vaccinations
How much does Dutch health insurance cost?
The most affordable basic health insurance plan will cost you around 95 to 105 euros per month. Policies that offer a free choice of healthcare providers are slightly higher priced: around 110 to 120 euros per month. Supplemental insurance prices vary significantly, depending on the desired coverage.
Income dependent tax
A significant part of income tax is used to fund short and long-term medical care in the Netherlands.
Deductible excess (“eigen risico”)
For most healthcare types, patients will be asked to pay a deductible, which goes up to 385 euros per year. As soon as the excess is paid for, the insurance company will start to reimburse the medical costs. The deductible excess stacks up during the year and resets at the start of every new year. The deductible excess is not applicable for:
- Children below 18 years of age
- GP visitations/treatments
- Healthcare that is covered via a supplemental insurance
Am I eligible to receive financial aid?
The government provides a healthcare allowance (“zorgtoeslag”) for Dutch citizens that have a low income. This financial aid which goes up to 89 euros per month, helps to pay for the deductible excess and insurance premium. You are eligible for a healthcare allowance if you:
- Are 18 years or older
- Have an income below 27.857 euros
- Have a financial capital below 107.752 euros
ZorgWijzer.nl is the first health insurance broker in the Netherlands for expats and students from abroad. Use their English insurance comparison tool to get personalised results the fast and easy way. Their call centre is run by experts, ready to answer all your questions about health insurance in the Netherlands.