Health insurance in the Netherlands
If you are living in the Netherlands, you are required to have basic health insurance ('zorgverzekering'). As an international student, you have three options: either you retain your insurance from home if it covers you being abroad, you use the European Health Insurance Card, or you opt for a Dutch health insurance.
Keeping your own private health insurance
Are you already privately insured in your home country? Then check with your insurance company which health care services they cover during your studies. If coverage is not sufficient, you need to take out a new or special insurance policy for your stay in the Netherlands.
Note: even if you are privately insured, you will still need a Dutch health insurance if one of the following applies to you:
- You have a job next to your studies.
- You are doing an internship where you earn more than € 150 euro a month or € 1.500 a year.
- You are a PhD Scholarship student.
Using the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)
If you are an EU/EEA or Swiss student, you can use a European Health Insurance card or EHIC in the Netherlands. You can apply for the EHIC through your insurance company in your home country if you are insured under a national health service.
Medical costs covered by EHIC
The following costs are generally covered by EHIC:
- visit to the General Practitioner
- visit to medical specialist. For this you will need a referral from a GP or dentist (unless it involves acute emergencies)
- hospital stay
- patient transport
- medication (except for the cost of flu vaccines, medical check-ups and writing a prescription)
- mental health services (GGZ, psychiatrist and primary psychological care)
- pregnancy costs and obstetric consultations (fully covered: a home birth (at a Dutch address), and a hospital birth on the basis of a medical referral)
Medical costs not covered by EHIC
The following costs are not covered by EHIC. To cover these costs, you can opt for an additional insurance.
- physical therapy
- dental care
- treatments that can reasonably be postponed until return to your home country
Reimbursement of medical costs with EHIC
The Dutch health care provider Zilveren Kruis is responsible for EHIC reimbursements. Zilveren Kruis often reimburses your health care bill directly to your caregiver. If this is the case, you don’t have to take any action. Your own health insurer pays these costs back to Zilveren Kruis.
However, in some cases you have to pay the health care bill in advance. If this is the case, you are eligible for reimbursement. To be reimbursed, send the original health care bill you received to Zilveren Kruis (keep a copy for yourself). Send along a copy of your EHIC and the claim form (available on their website). You can send the papers to:
Groep Buitenlands Recht
7300 AR Apeldoorn
Opting for Dutch Public Health Insurance
If you are a non-EU/EEA student and you are obliged to take out Dutch public healthcare insurance, you are free to buy insurance from any Dutch insurance company. The standard insurance package includes:
- visits to GPs
- some medications
- nutritional/dietary care
- medical aids
- mental health services
The package does not cover things like:
- aspirin purchased over the counter
- certain cosmetic surgery procedures
- dental care
You will need to take out additional insurance to cover these costs.
If you take out Dutch public health insurance, you may be eligible for compensation for your insurance premium. This compensation is called healthcare benefit or healthcare allowance ('zorgtoeslag').
For more information about health insurance, check out these websites.