If you have Dutch health insurance and visit your GP, pharmacy or a medical specialist, you are not likely to see what they charge for their services. You just present your health insurance card and any costs are smoothly settled, it seems.
Costs on top of your insurance premium
In many cases, however, you will be charged later on by your health insurance provider for costs that count towards your excess (‘eigen risico’), for personal contributions or for services that are not covered by your basic or supplementary health insurance.
So Dutch healthcare can cost you more than just your monthly premium and a special tax that applies if you are self-employed. While consultations with your GP are fully covered, consulting other professionals, such as a medical specialist or physiotherapist, may not be (fully) covered by your health insurance.
How to manage your healthcare cost
Especially when tariffs are not regulated, but free or negotiated between insurer and healthcare provider, it may help you to understand how the costs you incur are determined. You may reduce the costs of a medical treatment in a hospital by asking your insurance provider how negotiated tariffs differ between healthcare providers.
This is, however, only possible for the most common and straightforward treatments. In case of more complicated care, the applicable (elements of) treatment and its negotiated tariff will only become clear after diagnosis and treatment.
When taking out Dutch health insurance for the first time, or when changing provider or policy at the end of the year, you may also manage your healthcare cost by selecting an appropriate excess and premium combination. Some insurance providers allow to cancel or modify supplementary insurance during the year. You may check if you really need this supplementary insurance.
Healthcare benefit and tax deductable
If your income is not too high or your healthcare costs are relatively high, you may apply for a healthcare benefit or tax deductable.
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