Health insurance in the Netherlands

Every person that lives or works in the Netherlands has the obligation to take out a basic Dutch health insurance policy (Basisverzekering), even if you are already insured back home.

Health insurance in the Netherlands is mandatory

The basic Dutch health insurance policy offers a universal package for everyone over the age of 18 years, this is regardless of age or state of health. It is in principle illegal for health insurance companies to refuse an application or impose special conditions. The Dutch government decides every year, what is covered and what the compulsory excess is. If you don’t take out insurance while you are required to do so, you risk a fine. Dutch healthcare insurance is further explained here .

In some cases your employer will organize and offer corporate healthcare insurance. You can check with your employer if this applies to you. If your employer doesn’t offer corporate health insurance, you may check websites that compare all health insurance providers like this one: Zorgwijzer

There are a few notable exceptions to this general rule, such as children, temporary visitors from the EU and students.  The following websites will inform you if you have the legal obligation to have a basic Dutch health insurance policy:

Sociale Verzekeringsbank(National Insurance) Here you can find if you are insured under the Long-term Care Act. If this is the case, you are required to have a Dutch health insurance policy.

Zorgverzekeringslijn (information about Dutch health Insurance for international newcomers)


Children under 18 don´t require a basic Dutch health insurance policy, but are automatically covered under their parents’ policy. They are also covered under any supplementary health insurance policy of their parents.

Temporary visitors from the EU

If you hold the European Union Health Insurance Card (EHIC) you will be covered while your stay is temporary (as decided by the insurer in your home country). If your stay is not temporary or as soon as you have a residence permit, you must take out a basic Dutch health insurance policy


Students from the EU/EEA/Switzerland are exempt from paying health Insurance unless they are working, even part time, or as part of a paid internship. Non-working students will be given an European Health Insurance Card, or an international declaration form instead.

Students from outside the EU need insurance like everyone else. Check this flowchart to see what applies to you.
Further information can also be found here.