Health Insurance in the Netherlands
Without exception, health insurance is compulsory for every person who lives or works in the Netherlands.
All residents in the Netherlands are obliged to take out a basic level of national health insurance within the first four (4) months of arrival.
Note: Please read exempt in case you are detached from Social Security under Health Insurance from your Home Country.
Insurance reimburses a part of your medical expenses, depending on the level of cover you have chosen. You may also include the option to take out additional insurance to cover costs which are not included in the basic package. The Dutch health insurance has by law a yearly own risk; at this moment this is € 385/year.
The Dutch health care system is referred to as a ‘gatekeeper system’; the General Practitioner (huisarts) or family doctor being the main link to any specialist or hospital. In order to see a medical specialist at the hospital, you will need to make an appointment with your general practitioner to get a referral.
Basic Package & Additional Insurance
The government decides on the coverage provided by the standard package. All insurers offer the same standard package. Healthcare insurers are obliged to accept anyone who applies for the standard insurance package and must charge all policy holders the same contribution, regardless of their age or state of health. You pay a fixed nominal amount to your insurance company for the standard health insurance package. The employer or social benefit deducts an income related premium automatically from your salary for tax purposes. However, the employer or social benefit is obliged to reimburse income-related premium to you.
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, but you need to take the health insurance out for children younger than 18 too. The basic package includes care by general practitioners and specialists, hospital care, medication, dental care up to the age of 18 and natal care.
The basic package does not cover all medical expenses. You can take out an additional insurance to cover, for example, physiotherapy or dental care. Additional insurance is not obligatory.
Note: the health care insurance provider will need the BSN number in order to complete the registration process.
Health Insurance from your Home Country
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 and you are detached from social security for 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 member states of the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland. With this certificate and form you can get medical care in the Netherlands.
Please read: useful forms for social security rights
European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)
If you are an European citizen traveling within the EU/EE or Switzerland for private or professional reasons, you are eligible for an European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). It allows citizens from the EU/EEA and Switzerland to access healthcare when traveling within the EU. This card is a personal card. Therefore every accompany family member needs a personal EHIC card.
The European Health Insurance Card (or EHIC) is a vital card for European citizens and residents traveling within any member country of the EU/EEA and Switzerland. After your EHIC application is complete, you can take your EHIC to any public doctor or hospital in an EU/EEA member country and Switzerland and receive healthcare for free or at a reduced cost. Your European Health Insurance Card allows you to receive healthcare on the same conditions as a local. However, there are some restrictions to what healthcare you can claim using your EHIC. For instance, they typically void coverage of treatments that are non-urgent. Therefore, it’s important to understand the conditions of your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before you travel and make sure you start the EHIC application process in time before you travel. In most cases, the local health provider or insurer in your country of residence will be the first point of contact.
You should also ask for a receipt or certificate any time you use your European Health Insurance Card. In some countries, state healthcare is totally free and you will pay nothing. Otherwise, you will usually be asked to pay for the treatment or prescription and you reclaim some or all of the cost afterwards – either while you are still abroad or upon your return home – from the health/social services authority in your home country. In some countries, you will be asked to pay a patient contribution (co-payment), which is not usually reimbursable. For example, if a health scheme in another country only covers 70% of healthcare costs, you will have to pay 30% out of your pocket.
Students and Health Care Insurance
If you are in the Netherlands for study purposes only, you are not required to be insured under the Health Insurance Act. This means you do not have to enroll with a Dutch health insurer. You can remain insured with the health insurer in your home country. Check the Leaflet Dutch health insurance international students Zorgverzekeringslijn - English
If you work alongside your studies (part-time job) You are required to have a Dutch health insurance.
Students from the EU/EEA and Switzerland may be eligible to receive an European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) which covers the necessary medical costs during their stay. Please be advised to check this with the health insurer in your home country before departure.
More Information: Extensive independent information is provided by the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sports about Health Care Insurances in English, German, Spanish, French and Polish and can be found at the
Telephone: 0800-6464644 from within the Netherlands or +31-88-9006960 from abroad (9am to 5pm).
Health Insurance Cross-Border Workers
If you are a cross-border worker and you live in an EEA member state or treaty country, specific rules apply to the country where you are insured. Generally, this means that you will be insured in the country where you work, and the insurance provides you with cover in the country where you live. However, there are exceptions to this rule, for example if you are self-employed or working as a civil servant.
For more information you can contact at the municipality Terneuzen:
Ton van Tilburg , Advisor cross-border working - Phone +31 6 18531706
In the Netherlands, the huisarts (General Practitioner, Family Doctor) plays an important role in health care. A visit to the GP is the first step to receiving medical treatment. A GP in the Netherlands records patient medical information on file, and when required, refers patients to specialist medical care.
Choosing a doctor
Once registered with the municipality, it is important to register with a GP in the local area. The Relocation Services provider can help you with this or you can ask the Expat Center Zeeland for information.
All GPs have the same education and are approved by the Dutch authorities. It is possible to make an appointment to meet a GP and discuss personal requirements before deciding whether to register with their practice. It is always useful to take along medical records for existing conditions.
The SOS number for emergency medical help in the Netherlands is 112.