The Dutch healthcare system: how does it work?

Dutch medical care is renowned for being among the best in the world… but also among the most expensive. All residents of the Netherlands are required to have health insurance. How does the Dutch healthcare system work? Which health insurance should you take out to suit your budget and needs? How best to choose my international health insurance?


Health care insurance

Health insurance provides an effective long-term care system at affordable prices. Policyholders pay a fixed premium of around €100 per month. It must include at least the following services:

  • The amount of the nominal premium (fixed premium)
  • Deductible between €0 and €500
  • The possibility of taking out supplementary insurance for treatments not covered by basic insurance.
  • The type of policy, such as care in kind or expense reimbursement
  • Services offered by the insurer

How can I benefit from the healthcare system?

The insured must pay a nominal premium (around €100 per month) to the health insurer. Children under 18 are insured free of charge. The public authorities finance the bonus for minors. Parents do not have to advance or reimburse anything.

Citizens must also pay an additional contribution of 7.75% based on the insured’s annual income, with a ceiling of €50,853. This contribution will be paid by employers into a health fund. For those who are retired or self-employed, this contribution amounts to 4.4% of their annual income.

This healthcare system also provides contribution refunds on the nominal premium if the insured spends less than €225 on healthcare costs. GP consultation fees are not included in this amount. This helps to combat healthcare abuse.

The Dutch healthcare system for foreigners

To obtain a residence permit, you will need to provide health insurance. People who already have insurance in their own country will need to prove that their country has a reciprocal agreement with the Netherlands. If this is not the case, they will have to take out private insurance for you. European citizens will then need to submit form E-111 (valid for 3 months) or E-128 (valid for 3 years) to their social security office.

What’s the difference between public and private?

Public health insurance

You can choose any public insurance for the Ziekenfonds, because since the Health Care Insurance Act was introduced, all health insurance must follow certain procedures and conditions.

Once you have taken out your insurance, you will need to send the details to your doctor and pharmacist so that the invoices can be sent directly to your insurer. And if the costs are not included in the package, they will be billed to you by the insurance company.

Health insurance covers :

  • Medical care,
  • Hospital care
  • Consultations with a specialist under medical prescription
  • Dental care
  • Reimbursements for most drugs
  • Ambulance service
  • Nutritionist care
  • Speech therapist
  • Maternity care
  • And smoking cessation program

Private health insurance

If you don’t have public health insurance, or if your annual salary exceeds €32,750, you will need to take out private “Particuliere Ziektekostenverzekering” health insurance. This may be an international health insurance policy or a Dutch health insurance policy. There are three levels of contribution: basic, high and total.

The “Particulière Ziektekostenverzekering” system is different: you must first advance the costs and send the invoices to your insurer. You will then receive your refund.

It’s very important to read all the conditions and compare all the offers , as there are often additional charges or clauses that may prevent you from benefiting from health cover.

Contact Mondassur’s international insurance advisors to help you choose the best insurance for the Netherlands to suit your profile.

Scroll to Top