Do I need health insurance in the Netherlands as a student?

When getting ready to go study in the Netherlands, one thing to put in your checklist is the health insurance coverage. A few factors determine if you are eligible to get an insurance whether through the Dutch healthcare system, the European system or a private one. We’ve sort out for you everything you need to know about student health insurance in the Netherlands. Here are the types of policies, requirements, benefits, cost, and also the procedure to get a coverage. 

Do students need insurance in the Netherlands?

Legally, everyone, including international students who study and work in the Netherlands needs to have health insurance. And you must arrange for this insurance within up to 4 months upon your arrival in the country. 

Besides, the type of healthcare you should apply for depends on your personal situation, namely your nationality, the duration of your stay, your working status etc. To ensure you get the right coverage and don’t overpay for your policy, we’ve divided the process into 2 categories. 

First, we’ll handle what applies to EU/EEA students, then we’ll see how student health insurance works for non-European international students. 

For students from the EU/EEA

One thing that is interesting with the European Union is that the member countries share many benefits across the borders, including health insurance. That’s why international students who are European citizens who have an insurance provider are covered in the Netherlands through the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). 

In fact, this insurance card ensures they are covered in all EEA countries and Switzerland. Moreover, the EHIC only covers the student’s health insurance in the Netherlands. Travel insurance is then not included. The last thing to keep in mind is that this insurance is that it’s in the form of subsequent reimbursements. Students need to send their health bills to their insurance agency to get a refund. 

Requirements for non-EU international students 

In the case of a non-European international student, insurance from their home country is not valid in the Netherlands. At the same time, not having health insurance in Holland will quickly become costly in case of an emergency or an accident. You have then the option between a public Dutch health insurance and an international student insurance. 

Moreover, some non-EU countries have a treaty with the Netherlands regarding the reimbursement of their medical expenses. You can benefit for this agreement if you are a student citizen from Australia (if you stay for less than one year), Switzerland, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cape Verde, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Morocco, Serbia, Tunisia and Turkey.  

Types of health insurance for international students in the Netherlands 

Dutch health insurance

A student needs a Dutch health insurance in case they don’t have a European coverage or have an EHIC but plan to work and study in the Netherlands.

Furthermore, students who are in Holland for study purposes only, are not eligible for the Dutch public health insurance. On the other hands, if they do an internship and earn at least the minimum wage in the country, the insurance coverage is compulsory.

International student insurance in the Netherlands 

This is for the students who plan to study only and not work in the Netherlands. This insurance is mandatory even for students who have an EHIC. Companies like AON provide a complete student insurance including a medical emergency coverage in the Netherlands in case of illness and accidents.

How does the health care system in the Netherlands work

The Dutch health care system insofar is liberal and aims to offer high-quality healthcare for all. The 2006’s Health Insurance Act translates the government’s belief that the standard health coverage should be accessible to all residents in the Netherlands as well as give them the ability to buy additional insurance if they need to.

Additionally, the system is very fair and consumer-oriented. In other words the companies’ prices are affordable and transparent. The benefits of the policies are the same regardless of the service. 

Moreover, insurance companies work closely under the government’s regulation to ensure that even the bonus policies aren’t costly. And most of the profit they make are turned into a lower insurance premiums for consumers.

With that in mind, there are 2 types of policies in the Netherlands in terms of healthcare: the restitution policy (restitutiepolis) and the in-kind policy (natura polis).

Restitution policy

With this policy, you can freely choose your healthcare provider then pay the bill yourself. Only after that you need to send this bill to your insurance company for a reimbursement (hence the name “restitution”).

The company will usually cover all costs except for the treatments that are too costly to match the Dutch market standards. These go to the policy premiums, which are slightly more expensive compared to the in-kind model.

In-kind policy 

This policy depends on whether your insurance company have an agreement with the hospital you go to. If that’s the case, the insurance company directly pays your medical costs.

On the other hand, if you go to a hospital that has not a contract with your health insurance provider, you need to pay for the treatment yourself and get reimbursement later. This reimbursement is optional and depends on the insurance company.

How can a student get health insurance in the Netherlands? 

To get a Dutch health insurance in the Netherlands, you need to register with a municipality beforehand. This registration will give you access to a basic health insurance.

Next step is to choose a policy from one of the Dutch health insurance companies. There are more than 150 companies you can choose from. 

Then you fill the application form and send it to the insurer of your choice.

Along with the form, you’ll need to provide a:

  • Dutch security number (burgerservicenummer or BSN) or a proof of enrollment as a temporary proof
  • Bank account info
  • Proof of your registration at the municipality

Once everything is completed and sent, you receive your insurance policy. Don’t forget that you are eligible for a Dutch public insurance if you study and work, or perceive any amount of remuneration from the minimum wage in Holland. 

This means that if you stop working or leave the Netherlands at the end of your studies you must cancel your insurance and deregister at the municipality. 

Note: Since you need to arrange for a student insurance within your first 4 months in the Netherlands, we advise you to arrange for a residence permit within 3 months upon your arrival. Learn here how to get a study visa and a student residence permit in the Netherlands.

How much is health insurance in Netherlands for students? 

When you hear about Dutch healthcare, it usually refers to the compulsory standard policy you apply to before working in the Netherlands. This takes the form of a deductible that you have to pay to your insurance company every year to cover your medical costs, if you are a working student in the Netherlands. 

The amount is fixed at a minimum of €385. However, you can increase this deductible with an additional amount of up to €500 per year to then reduce the monthly premium for any extra coverage you might want to purchase.  

When it comes to international student health insurance, it usually costs around €100 per month. This amount covers the basic medical care by general practitioners along with: 

  • Hospital treatment
  • Limited therapies such as physiotherapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy and dietary advice
  • Medical devices
  • Medical products
  • And in some cases, maternity care 

Supplementary healthcare such as: dental care, physiotherapy, glasses and contact lenses, alternative medical products are not included. For these, students would have to arrange a private health insurance with additional coverage. 

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