The health system in the Netherlands: how does it work?

Dutch medical care is known to be among the best in the world… but also among the most expensive. Anyone living in the Netherlands must have a health insurance. How does the health system work in the Netherlands? What health insurance should be taken based on your budget and needs? How should I choose my international healthcare insurance ?


Health care insurance

Health insurance provides an effective long-term care system and ensures affordable prices. Policyholders must pay a fixed premium of about 100 euros per month. It is the insurer that generally sets the prices but the insurance taken out must be on the same terms for all. It must at a minimum include these services:

  • The amount of the nominal premium (fixed premium)
  • The amount of the deductible between 0 and 500
  • The possibility of taking out supplementary insurance for care that is not included in the basic insurance.
  • The type of policy such as in-kind care or compensation for expenses
  • The services offered by the insurer

How can I benefit from the health care system?

The insured must pay the nominal premium (approximately 100 euros per month) to the insurer. Children under the age of 18 are insured free of charge. It is the public authorities that finance the premium for minors. Parents should not advance or pay back anything.

Citizens must also pay an additional contribution of 7.75% according to the insured’s annual income without a limit of 50,853 euros. This contribution will be paid to employers to feed a health fund. For people who are retired or self-employed, this contribution amounts to 4.4 of their annual income.

This health system also provides contribution refunds on the nominal premium if the insured spends less than 225 euros on health insurance. The cost of visiting a general practitioner is not included in this amount. This helps to combat the abuse of health care.

The Dutch health system for foreigners

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

What is the difference between the public and the private sector?

Public health insurance

You can choose any public insurance for the Ziekenfonds, because since the health insurance law was put in place, 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 fee does not include in the formula then you will be charged by the insurance company.

Health insurance covers:

  • Medical care,
  • Hospital care
  • Consultations with a medical prescription specialist
  • Dental care
  • Reimbursements for most drugs
  • The ambulance service
  • Nutritionist care
  • The speech therapist
  • Maternity care
  • And program related to smoking cessation

Private health insurance

If you do not have public insurance or your annual salary is more than 32,750 euros then you will have to take out private health insurance “Special Ziektekostenverzekering”. It is then possible to take out an international health insurance solution. There are three levels of contribution: basic, high or total.

The “Special Ziektekostenverzekerering” system is different, you will first have to advance the fees and send the invoices to your insurer. Then you will receive your refund.

It is very important to read all the conditions and compare all offers as there are often additional fees or clauses that may prevent you from benefiting from health coverage.

Contact a Mondassur expert on international insurance to help you choose the best insurance for your profile and ask an online healthcare quote for the Netherlands.

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