Health Insurance in the Netherlands

What's good to know

Health insurance – zorgverzekering – is obligatory in the Netherlands and everyone who works here must have it. That is why employers, including temporary employment agencies, offer group insurance to their employees.

There are many rules that apply to health insurance in the Netherlands that sometimes confuse not only foreigners, but the Dutch themselves. To help you out, we put together the most important information you need to know about health insurance in the Netherlands. If you want to know how it works, what medical services it covers, what eigen risico and zorgtoeslag are, read our article.

Basisverzekering – basic health insurance

Every year the Dutch government defines the scope and the price of the basic insurance package, so in each insurance company it will look and cost the same. But each insurance company also offers extended packages – aanvullende zorgverzekering – which will differ in price and services covered.

Direct People offers its employees a basic collective insurance – colectieve basisverzekering – from Hollandzorg. It is the same as basic insurance only with a group discount. If you want to know exactly what medical services basic insurance package covers, check the website of Dutch government. There you can also find out if the services fall within the own risk amount – eigen risico.


Eigen risico – own risk amount.

Own risk amount in the Netherlands is mandatory. It is minimum € 385 per year. This means that you still have to pay for some services in the insurance package, but not more than € 385 per year.

A visit to a general practitioner – huisarts – is not subject to your own risk amount, so you never have to pay for it. But a visit to a specialist, a blood test, or a stay in a hospital fall into the own risk amount.
For example, if you receive a bill for €400 after a hospital procedure, you will have to pay €385.  Your insurance will cover €15. But then your own risk amount is spent for the year, so your insurance will cover your next hospital bill.

For individual insurance, you can choose for a higher own risk amount, up to maximum of €885 a year. The monthly fee for insurance is lower then, but you it’s a risk.

Zorgtoeslag – healthcare allowance

For people with lower incomes, the Dutch government offers a subsidy, for both basic and extended insurance. The rules and amount change every year, so follow Belastingdienst page to be up to date.

You can apply for healthcare allowance alone or together with a partner – toeslag partner. It can be a spouse or a parent of your child if you both live under the same address. In 2018, people earning less than € 28,500 a year or partners earning less than €35,500 a year could apply for healthcare allowance. The amount varied between € 4 – € 94 per month.

You can apply for healthcare allowance at virtually any time. The deadline for 2018 is September 1, 2019. If you have a DigID, you can do it yourself on the Belastingdienst site. If you are not registered in the Netherlands and you do not have a DigID, an intermediary can help you.


Change or cancel your insurance.

According to general rules, insurance can be changed once a year. It is possible between November and the end of December. If you apply for a new insurance, your new insurer will handle the formalities of the transition.
If you have insurance with Direct People and want to change it to private, you can also do it at the end of the year. Do not forget to inform your account manager, so that we will not take any more advances from your salary. If you terminate your cooperation with Direct People, your insurance automatically expires. However, if you have private insurance and want to end it, because you leave the Netherlands, you must contact the insurer yourself and cancel your insurance.

What to expect in 2019

Your monthly premium will increase about € 10. The minimum own risk amount will stay the same: € 385 per year. An increase in healthcare allowance is also planned. According to data from the Zorgwijzer site, healthcare allowance for individuals will increase by a maximum of € 94 per year, and for people with a partner by a maximum of € 281 per year.


So much for the basics. It is important to be aware that health insurance does not fully cover all medical fees, which can sometimes be a disappointment. Certain payment cannot be avoided and it is worth being prepared for it. If you still have questions after reading the article, let us know. We will try to answer it and update this article.