Register with a GP (huisarts)
After you have chosen your Dutch health insurance provider, you should register with a general practitioner in your area. You can easily schedule an appointment with your GP to discuss any health issues or concerns you might have. If you need a specific type of examination or treatment you might first have to confer with your GP, who will then refer you to the right specialist.To find a GP in your area, you should just Google ‘huisarts’ and the name of your city or area. Some websites also provide comparative listings of doctors based on patient reviews.You can also register with your local pharmacy (apotheek), so that they can keep a record of your history of medication and so that your GP can easily send medication prescriptions through.
Health insurance for children in the Netherlands
Children under 18 should also be insured in the Netherlands. Their insurance cover is free, however, with no monthly premium and no deductible excess.
Children can usually be covered their parents’ insurance provider, but it’s also possible to select different providers. The first month after a child turns 18, they will have to start paying their own monthly premium.
New-born babies need to be registered for health insurance within four months after their birth.
Health insurance for international students in the Netherlands
International students don’t always have to take out Dutch health insurance. This depends on the duration of their stay, whether they’re doing an internship or working, and if they have insurance in their home country.
The three main options for foreign students who want health insurance in the Netherlands are:
- Getting regular Dutch health insurance
- Get an EU Health Insurance Card (only applicable to EU citizens)
- Keep on private healthcare insurance from your country of origin
Loonzorg is a provider of expat health insurance in the Netherlands. They give also give you more information about their student insurance policies.
Handy facts about Dutch health insurance
All this information is quite a lot to take in, so let’s conclude with some handy facts that we feel you should be aware of:
- Insurers in the Netherlands are legally obligated to offer you basic insurance. You cannot be denied based on age or health profile.
- You can only change your provider once every year, to select your policy for the following year. The deadline for changing providers is 31 December.
- If you receive a low income, you may be eligible to have your monthly premiums (partly) covered by the Dutch healthcare allowance (zorgtoeslag).
- Many businesses, including international companies, arrange collective agreements with insurers to offer a small discount to their employees.
- You should know that there may be long waiting lists for certain medical services.
- All doctors may be expected to speak English.