Student health insurance
You are about to start your adventure of studying in the Netherlands. Upon arrival to the Netherlands there are several arrangements you’ll need to make to get started. One of them is figuring out if you need to take out student healthcare insurance. In this article we’ll guide you through the necessary steps to check what situation applies to you.
You’ll probably receive a letter from the CAK (Central Administration Office). This letter describes you’re currently not insured for Dutch health insurance. Furthermore, it will explain in which situations taking out Dutch healthcare insurance is obliged. Below we will describe the different situations that might apply:
- You only study in the Netherlands and your stay is temporary: only residents of the Netherlands need to take out Dutch health insurance. Since your stay is temporary, you do not need to take out Dutch health insurance. You can keep your home country insurance in case it offers sufficient coverage. EU, EEA and Switzerland residents can use their European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). Non-EU, EEA, Switzerland and Australian students can use their home country insurance or take out private healthcare insurance.
- You study and work or do a paid internship at the same time in the Netherlands: in this case you are obliged to take out Dutch healthcare insurance. In this situation you will be insured under the Long-term Care Act (Wlz). You must do this within 3 months upon arrival, if you don’t you risk a fine from the CAK. Students that are not from the EU, EEA or Switzerland need to take out Dutch healthcare insurance within 4 months after receiving their residence permit. If you are unsure if you have the obligation to be insured under the Wlz, you can assess your situation at the government's insurance agency called SVB (Sociale Verzekeringsbank).
- You permanently live or work in the Netherlands: you will have to take out Dutch healthcare insurance, even if you have a zero-hour contract. Also, if you work as a volunteer and receive an allowance, this will count as work.
In order to take out Dutch health insurance, you’ll need a Dutch citizen service number (BSN). You can apply for the citizen service number at the town hall of your local municipality. You’ll need to bring a valid ID, such as your passport. Furthermore, you need to provide your new home address. If you’re a non-EU, EEA or Swiss student you also need to bring your residence permit or work contract in case it applies. The BSN is valid and useful for many (government) services, like taking out insurance, apply for benefits, opening a bank account or starting a job. Depending on your country of origin, you might also need to apply for a work permit.
The next and last step, if you need to take out Dutch healthcare insurance, is to compare different insurances. You will pay a fixed premium per month for your Dutch health insurance. There are two types of insurance:
- Compulsory basic healthcare insurance (basisverzekering): the coverage of basic necessary medical care is determined by the government and equal in all basic Dutch health insurances. It covers care at your GP and hospitals for example. Except for visits to your GP, a deductible excess applies to healthcare costs. In 2020 you will have to pay the first €385, - or healthcare costs, once completely paid healthcare is fully covered.
- Supplementary healthcare insurance (aanvullende verzekering): not all healthcare costs are (sufficiently) covered in the basic package. Depending on your personal needs, you might want to take out additional healthcare insurance covering dental care, physiotherapy, alternative medical care or contraception. In that case you can take out additional healthcare insurance packages or separate modules, depending on the care you need
Depending of your income and capital, you might also qualify for healthcare benefit. This government benefit helps lower income groups to pay for their insurance premium. For more information on an specific insurance, contact the insurance company directly. If you like to compare different Dutch healthcare insurances in English you can visit the website of studenten-zorgverzekeringen.nl.