Dutch health insurance is mandatory
If you are employed in the Netherlands you need to have Dutch health insurance. There are only a few exceptions to this rule. This obligation starts from the moment that you arrive in the Netherlands and register with your municipality, even if you are still looking for a job at that time.
You have 4 months to sign-up for Dutch health insurance, but you will be billed retroactively from the moment that you have settled in the Netherlands. This comes as an unpleasant surprise to many, but there is a small upside: any healthcare costs you have incurred in this period will be paid, subject of course to the provisions of the basic health insurance policy.
Cost of healthcare and insurance
In addition to health insurance premium – typically 115-125 € per month – you may face other charges when using healthcare such as excess, personal contributions and costs for services that are not covered. Read all about these costs here.
If you have a job, your employer pays for you a specific income dependent contribution (‘bijdrage ZVW’) to the Tax authorities. If you are self-employed or an entrepreneur you will have to pay this contribution of about 5-6 % yourself! This contribution is maximized, but may come to about 3.100 € per year in 2020. Check with your financial adviser for details.
Getting a good deal
When you first settle in the Netherlands you are allowed a maximum of 4 months to look for a health insurance provider that offers you best value for money. Make sure to check with your employer or temp agency, as they may have a ‘corporate discount’ with a specific health insurance provider.
This corporate discount may be as high as 10%, but unfortunately in 2020 the maximum discount will be reduced to 5%.
Once you have registered with a provider, you are ‘stuck’ until the end of the year. Every year from mid-November until New Year’s eve, there is a 6-7 week period that you can switch provider or policy type. In our recent Health insurance newsletter you’ll find many tips on how to minimize your overall insurance and healthcare cost.