It’s in fact mandatory for anyone living or working in the Netherlands to have basic health insurance. If you arrive in the Netherlands from outside the EU, EEA or Switzerland, you will have to sign up for health insurance within four months of receiving your residence permit. This is even the case if you have an existing foreign policy. EU/EEA/Swiss citizens should arrange their Dutch health insurance within four months of registering in their municipality. Read on to get to grips with the Dutch system.

Health insurance in the Netherlands

Privatisation of healthcare

The Dutch healthcare system is different to many other European systems in that the Dutch government is responsible for the accessibility and quality of the system, but not in charge of its management. Since 1 January 2006, the Dutch healthcare system is a combination of private health plans with social conditions built on the principles of solidarity, efficiency and value for the patient. You pay for healthcare through your provider’s premium, deductible excess (for certain procedures) and through taxation of income.

If you’re staying long term, basic health insurance is mandatory in the Netherlands. Generally, all expats must have Dutch health insurance even if they’re already insured for healthcare in their country of origin. After receiving your residence permit (or registering at your respective Dutch municipality if you’re a citizen from an EU/EEA country), you are subject to Dutch social security legislation and thus must obtain a basic health insurance (basisverzekering in Dutch) package within four months. There are a few exceptions to this rule: in some circumstances, you will be able to get a different type of health insurance that will preclude the need for Dutch health insurance.