Health insurance information for new arrivals in The Netherlands
Your legal obligations for health insurance whilst living in The Netherlands
Please be aware that if you are employed under a Dutch contract, you are obliged to take a policy with a Dutch insurance provider. If you have insurance with a foreign provider only, it will not satisfy your legal obligation under the terms of your residency or employment status
Types of Dutch health insurance policies
There are two different types of insurance policies that Dutch health insurance companies offer:
- "Restitutie polis", which means that you can choose to select your own healthcare provider, or
- "Natura polis" where the insurance company directs you to their contracted providers (doctors, pharmacies, etc).
Should you visit a provider that is not contracted to your chosen insurance company, you will not be reimbursed (in full) for the costs. Therefore, we strongly advise you to select the slightly more expensive "restitutie" policy, which allows you to select the healthcare provider of your choice.
Basic and/or supplementary insurance
In addition to the legal minimum "basis", or basic insurance, you may also choose aanvullende or supplementary insurance, which offers different levels of extra coverage at an additional cost
All companies are obliged to accept everyone for the "basis" insurance, but they are not required to accept everyone for the aanvullende insurance.
Changing your insurance provider or level of cover
** Please ensure you are satisfied with your provider and are properly informed about your level of cover as it is only possible to change your level of cover and/or insurance provider at the end of each calendar year. It is not possible to make any changes throughout the year
If you would like to make any changes, you need to notify your insurance in December or, at the very latest, in January
Frequently asked questions
Yes, you can. Provided you can give us the vaccination history, we will do our best to continue your national immunization and vaccination scheme. However, we can only offer this service if you are registered with the GP practice at the IHCH. Please note that most Dutch insurance companies will not reimburse the cost of vaccinations in these cases.
All GP and pharmaceutical services are covered with Dutch insurance, although not always for 100%. Insurance companies may apply deductions for own risk. For other services, such as alternative medicine or physiotherapy, coverage is dependant on your personal policy. We recommend you check your individual insurance policy or ask your employer about their collective insurance policies for all details.
If you have a foreign insurance policy you will have to pay the bills directly at the end of the consultation, except when you carry Vanbreda or the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). This is including costs incurred for medication and other over the counter pharmaceutical products.
In The Netherlands, the wages of GPs consists of a subscription fee (inschrijftarief) that covers the running costs associated with a GP practice. These costs are ongoing, which is why you pay the subscription fee once a year - whether you have visited a GP or not. In addition to the subscription fee, there is a consultation fee that is charged only when you have an appointment with the GP. The consultation fee is low and is applied directly to the salary of the GP.
There is an exception to this rule for passant patients who require medical attention, but are not residents of The Netherlands or live in another town. These patients pay only a consultation fee, but at a higher rate than the standard consultation fee.