The compulsory health insurance in the Netherlands

Are you planning to move to the Netherlands for work, a relationship or for any other reason? Then it is important to know that health insurance is mandatory for expats or anyone who is planning to relocate to the Netherlands. Below you will find all the information you will need as an expat moving to the Netherlands.

Moving to the Netherlands

So, you have made the decision to move here but, you are not originally from the EU, Switzerland or the EEA. This means you need to take out a Dutch health insurance within four months after you have received your residence permit. There are two main types of Dutch health insurance:


  1. Compulsory basic health insurance (basisverzekering)
  2. The optional additional insurance (aanvullende verzekering)

When do you need health insurance?

Basically, anyone who resides and/or works in the Netherlands will need to take out a Dutch health insurance within four months of receiving your residency permit (or in the case of EU, Swiss or EEA citizen four months after registering with the municipality). You will also need to register your children for your health insurance. However, there is no payable premium for children under 18.


The only two exceptions are foreign students (who will not work in the Netherlands while they study) and those that conscientiously object against health care based on religion.

Basic Health insurance

As noted above, you will need to take out at least a basis health insurance. The cost for this will start at around €100, - a month for the insurance premium. In addition to this premium you may also need to pay the own risk (eigen risico). This is the amount you will need to pay for most of the Dutch medical care. In 2019 the minimum own risk is €385 per year (2019).

The basic insurance covers most of the health care that is deemed necessary.


Such as (but not limited to);


  • Your GP (huisarts)
  • Hospital stay, surgery etc.
  • Medicine prescriptions
  • Pregnancy and maternity care.


Example own risk:

John had an accident on his bike, and he needs stitches on his head. He immediately goes to the emergency room for medical care. Later he receives a bill from his health insurance for the amount of €285, -. Because John’s own risk was still unused, he will need to pay that amount out of his own pocket. Later in the year John breaks his leg and again goes to the hospital. The health insurance sends him a bill of €350, -. This time John will only need to pay €100, - because he only had €100, - left in his own risk. The remaining €250, - will be paid by his health insurance.


Pay attention: If you do not need to pay your own risk you do not need to pay anything. It is therefore also possible to increase your own risk and pay a lower monthly premium.

Additional insurance

The additional insurance is optional in The Netherlands. There are many options to choose from and it is something to think about. For example, if you know you are going to need physiotherapy, it may be advisable to add this as an additional insurance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below you can find a list of questions we frequently get asked:


  1. work in the NL and my spouse is living in the Netherlands, do we both need insurance?

Yes, anyone living in in The Netherlands is required to have health insurance

  1. I am going to work in the Netherlands, but I live with my family outside NL, do I need insurance?

Yes, even if you only work in the Netherlands, you still need to have Dutch health insurance

  1. I live in the Netherlands, and work a few months every year, do I need insurance?

Yes, regardless whether you are employed, work as a freelancer or have your own enterprise, it is mandatory to have health insurance in the Netherlands

  1. I’m a pensioner, with a pension from outside NL, do I need insurance?

Yes, even if you have worked in another country, from which you receive your pension, it is still mandatory to have Dutch health insurance, even if you also have health insurance in another country.

  1. I Live in the NL and will be working for two years in Belgium/Germany, can I keep my Dutch insurance?

If you work exclusively in Belgium or Germany, you will need to get health insurance in the country you are going to work in. In this case you should cancel your Dutch health insurance.

  1. I live and work in NL, my family lives outside NL, where do I and my family need an insurance?

In principle, you should get Dutch insurance and your family insurance in their country of residence. However, it is possible to get them on the same insurance plan as you. Contact us for more information.

  1. Is there a special insurance for expats?

Yes, there are several plans customised for expats, if you are not sure what you need, we can help.

  1. What is the ‘verdragspolis’?

The verdragspolis (Insurance policy package) allows you to have the insurance from your country of origin, provided there is a treaty between that country and the Netherlands.

  1. I’m a student, do I need an NL insurance?

If you are a student that will not work in the Netherlands, you are most likely not obligated to get a Dutch health insurance.

  1. I have a pension from the Netherlands, but I live abroad, do I need Dutch Health insurance?

If you are living abroad for more than a year, you will need to cancel your Dutch health insurance. If it is a treaty country, any medical expenses will probably need to be paid by the Netherlands, because that is where you paid (most of) your social premiums.

Contact us


If you need help with your relocation to the Netherlands, or have any other questions please do not hesitate to contact us at or call us at +3120 412 3507

Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash