Dutch health care system: how does it work?

The health insurance system in the Netherlands as it is now was introduced in 2006. For everyone it is mandatory to have at least a basic health insurance (in Dutch “basisverzekering”). You can also get an additional insurance, depending what your health care needs are. This is not mandatory. Because health care in the Netherlands is funded through taxation of income, it is mandatory to have at least a basic health insurance when you work in the Netherlands. Even if you already have a health insurance in another country. Children under 18 years old are insured via their parents.

Zorgverzekering vergelijken



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Different insurancecompanies

There are 10 big insurance companies in the Netherlands. Here you can find an overview of all health care insurance companies. All companies have also different products and brands, so there are in total over 900 different insurances. It can be hard to find the right one for your personal needs. At Independer you can compare all insurances and find the best one for you.

Apply for and cancel a health insurance

Health care insurance companies change their coverage, products and costs of their health insurances every year. Sometimes the Dutch government also makes changes which could influence the coverage of the basic health insurance. You are able to change your health insurance every year. It is wise to check every year if your health insurance still matches your personal needs.

Do you want to change your current health insurance? Than you should cancel your health insurance before the first of January. You are able to close a new healthcare insurance until the 31st of January.

Only in specific situations you are able to close a new health insurance during the rest of the year. For example when you come from abroad and don't have a Dutch health insurance yet. Or when you get divorced.


The basic health insurance covers basic care such as medical care, medicines and hospital stays. If you need extra care, such as extra dental care or physiotherapy , you can close an additional insurance. An additional health insurance will cost you more money than only a basic health insurance.

Costs of a health insurance

The mandatory basic health insurance costs about €100,- a month. The additional health insurance varies from €2,- to €150,-, depending on how much care you want to cover. 

There is also a own risk excess of €385,- (in 2020). This is a contribution you have to pay yourself in case of an insurance claim. In other words, you will pay the first €385 of the costs of the healthcare you receive in 2020. You can also choose to add a voluntary own risk excess to your mandatory excess. If you decide to do this, the premium of the basic healthcare insurance reduces. You can raise –your voluntary own risk in steps of € 100,- to a maximum of € 885,-.

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