Are you looking for new horizons in the land of windmills? Every year, thousands of expatriates move to the Netherlands to sample the Dutch’s cheerful way of life, while also enjoying excellent working conditions. The flat kingdom has a lot to offer: a cosmopolitan soul anchored in centuries-old traditions, coupled with an uncanny sense of love and tolerance.
The Netherlands’ unique union between freedom and rigour also blossoms in the country’s health system, which harmoniously combines private liberalism and centralised regulation. This is precisely why the Dutch healthcare system is one of the best in Europe, along with Switzerland and Austria.
So, how does the Dutch healthcare system work? And why do you need international health care insurance? Here are some answers…
Healthcare insurance in the Netherlands: regulation balanced with liberalism
The Netherlands’ universal health insurance system combines elements of public and private insurance: it is managed by the state and leans on private insurance companies. The central government sets the rules, the requirements and defines the price of basic health coverage, which are then implemented by private insurers. The Dutch healthcare system has three components: basic health care, long-term care and voluntary supplementary insurance.
Mandatory basic health insurance — the Zvw (Zorgverzekeringswet) system
People living and/or working in the Netherlands must take out basic health insurance (basisverzekering) with a private insurer of their choice for a fixed monthly fee regardless of their age, gender, or medical history. On average, the monthly insurance fee is €120, plus an income-related contribution.
Expatriates in the Netherlands are required to register with a health insurance organisation to get basic healthcare coverage within four months of arrival. If they fail to do so, they will have to pay their monthly arrears and penalties to the Dutch authorities. Kids and expats under the age of 18 are covered by the basic health insurance for free.
What does the basic health insurance cover?
- Essential medical care (GPs, specialists)
- Hospital and emergency care
- Maternity care
- Nursing care
- Dental care up to the age of 18
- Prescription drugs
You are allowed to change your healthcare provider only once a year between 1 January and 1 February.
Generally, when you subscribe with a health insurance company, you can choose between two main insurance policies:
- Non-contracted care policy (restitution policy): you are free to choose your healthcare provider and you are reimbursed up to 80-100% of the average price of a consultation.
- Contracted care policy (in kind policy): you can only be reimbursed for healthcare services that are provided by approved healthcare providers.
In the Netherlands, the family doctor (huisarts) is at the centre of the health care system: patients can only go to a specialist or to the hospital with his or her approval, except in case of emergencies. So, when you arrive in the Netherlands, make sure you register with a local GP!
“Compulsory” health insurance deductible
In the Netherlands, everyone above 18 years-old has a compulsory deductible for healthcare under the general insurance policy. You must pay the first €385 for healthcare yourself, and once this annual threshold is reached, your supplementary health insurance provider will reimburse the cost of your healthcare and medication. You can also voluntarily opt for a higher amount for your deductible in order to reduce your monthly payments. Please note that some healthcare services, like GP visits, are exempt from this healthcare deductible.
Supplementary health insurance
Residents in the Netherlands can subscribe to private supplementary healthcare insurance in order to get a more comprehensive coverage for dental care, eye care, physiotherapy, and other alternative medicine. The price of your subscription may depend on their age, gender, or health history.
Foyer Global Health: your customised and comprehensive health coverage in the Netherlands
While the Dutch public health system can provide you with adequate basic insurance, Foyer Global Health makes your life easy, tailoring to your expat needs as well as offering you support and comprehensive health insurance whether you opt for a public or private healthcare provider. So, no need to combine private insurance with your basic insurance: we adopt a holistic and flexible approach to international health insurance for all our expatriates.
This is why we are able to provide you with:
- Private international health insurance that protects you in the Netherlands and everywhere else in the world (whether you need to travel for a short period of time abroad, or you plan to settle for several months/years)
- Efficient cover: no overall annual reimbursement limit, no payment in advance, coverage from the first euro, quicker access to medical specialists
- Comprehensive coverage (from hospital care to dental care to repatriation insurance plans)
- A 100% digital health insurance experience
- Medical assistance services for expatriates
Do you want to find out what health insurance plan is best for you? Contact us and join our community of expatriates covered by Foyer Global Health