Your health matters. The Netherlands has one of the best healthcare systems in the world, but it’s important you know how it works before you arrive. Here’s your guide.


Health matters

If you are a full-resident in the Netherlands, it is necessary to have Dutch insurance, the only exception being for non-working EU students, who can keep their health insurance from home. Basic cover insurance costs around €1,500 a year, although most policies include an excess of a few hundred euros as well. However, if you earn under a certain amount of money annually, the government will help you pay your premium with the zorgtoeslag health insurance subsidy.

To sign up for Dutch health insurance, you need to be registered as a resident with the municipality and have a citizen service number (BSN). While this should be a priority when arriving in the Netherlands, it may take some time. If you would like to sign up for health insurance in the meantime, the OOM Verzerkering offers temporary health insurance plans for foreigners coming to the Netherlands.

It’s advisable to register with a GP (huisarts) as soon as you arrive, as they are the main point of contact if you fall ill, and will be the doctor to refer you to a specialist if you need one. Each person also registers with an individual pharmacy through their GP, however it is easy to change permanently or temporarily if you move or just want to pick up your prescription somewhere else. 

Dentists (tandarts) and opticians (opticiens) don’t need referrals, you are free to choose your own by yourself. Basic coverage insurance will not cover these services, but many people choose to get a further dental insurance.