If you’re an international student, you’re probably wondering why and in which cases you would need Dutch health insurance - especially if you already have one from your home country. Allow us to break it down.
When aren’t I required to take out Dutch health insurance?
Students from EU/EEA countries or Switzerland are not required to take out Dutch health insurance. The health insurance from their home country should suffice, as long as their stay is temporary. In other words, if you’re here to study, it’s fine. The moment you become a Dutch national, you’ll be required to take Dutch health insurance.
Due to their status as non-EU residents, non-EU students cannot take out Dutch health insurance. However, once they find work and their employer attains a working permit, they are obligated to take out Dutch health insurance.
When am I required to take out Dutch health insurance?
That would be the moment when you start working a part-time job. In the rare event that you perform an internship that pays a salary above Dutch minimum wage, you will also be required to take out Dutch health insurance.
Why am I required to take out Dutch health insurance?
Dutch law states that everybody that holds a (part-time) job is insured by the Wet langdurige zorg (Wlz). All citizens insured by this law are required to have Dutch health insurance.
Tl;dr if you have a job or (in rare cases) a paid internship that pays above minimum wage, you need Dutch health insurance. We strongly recommend you do this immediately.
What if I don’t take out Dutch health insurance?
If you’re obligated by law, but you decide not to, then the CAK will issue a warning letter. You’ll be given a three month term to take out Dutch health insurance or risk a fine.
The current height of the fine in 2019 is €402,24. If you fail to meet the term of three months, you will receive an additional fine of €402,24.
If you fail to pay both fines and take out health insurance within the given terms, the CAK will issue a Dutch health insurance for you. The CAK will then proceed to perform wage garnishment. This means that if you’re working, a part of your paycheck will be withheld to pay off the health insurance premium. This lasts for 12 months.
(Non-EU) What to do, as a non-EU student?
As stated before, non-EU students cannot apply for Dutch health insurance. However, this only applies to public health insurance. We recommend that non-EU students check if their home health care provider offers adequate coverage for treatments abroad. If that is not the case, we recommend that non-EU students seek private health insurance or health insurance specifically for international students.
EU students are exempt from the health insurance requirement if they are only here to study. The health insurance from their home country and an EHIC card provide enough coverage for treatment.
Non-EU students can’t take Dutch health insurance if they’re only here to study. They may want to consider getting private Dutch health insurance if their health insurance from home doesn’t provide adequate coverage abroad. There are also companies that provide Dutch health insurance, specifically for international students such as AON.
Both EU and nonEU students are obligated to take Dutch health insurance when they start working for an employer or if their paid internship pays more than Dutch minimum wage.
How it works:
With how many public health insurance companies there are, it can be difficult to choose which is best for you. It might be hard to distinguish between the many companies, what they provide and what it all means. Allow us to simplify it:
Health insurance will cost you a monthly fee that we call the premium. This premium averages around €95 euros for a “basispakket” (base plan) from a public health insurance company.
Every health insurance company provides what we call a “basispakket”. This is a basic plan consisting of treatments which are either fully, partially or not covered by your health insurance. Full coverage means that your health insurance company will completely reimburse the costs of your treatment (vergoeden). Partial coverage means that a predetermined amount will be reimbursed and that you are meant to pay the rest. Your specific plan (polis) details which forms of treatment are covered.
You have the option to add an “aanvullende verzekering” to your plan. These are supplemental/additional insurances which could – for example – cover dental costs or costs for treatment of any specific medical conditions that you might have. These will cost an additional amount of money which will be added to your base plan’s premium. This is not mandatory and we advise that you look over your health insurance plan from your home country first!
In order to keep health care affordable, an “eigen risico” was introduced. Also known as the deductible, this is an amount that you pay out of your own pocket before the insurance company provides any coverage. Every health insurance company sets this deductible at a minimum of €385,- euros. If you reach the amount of €385, the health insurance company will then cover the costs for the rest of your treatments.
In exchange for increasing your eigen risico, you may be able to lower your monthly premium. For example, you could reduce your premium by about 25 euros while increasing your eigen risico to 885 euros. The benefit of this is reduced monthly costs, which could be especially handy if you’re in good health and fairly confident that nothing will happen to you. However, if you’re in need of treatment, you have a lot to pay out of your own pocket before your health insurance company will start covering it. Our advice? Leave it at €385
For specific forms of treatment in your “basispakket” or “aanvullende verzekering”, you’ll be required to pay what is called a eigen bijdrage. This is a contribution to the cost of treatment. This is different from the eigen risico/deductible. Your deductible has a maximum amount, however your eigen bijdrage is a non-deductible fee. Depending on what kind of treatment you require, this could be an hourly, daily, weekly, monthly or yearly fee.
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