Switching before 31 December? Self-cancellation is not necessary

If you switch during the 'health care season', the period between mid-November and 31 December, you never have to cancel your old insurance yourself. It's as easy as that.

It is possible, however, that your old health insurer has already deducted premiums for the following year. Don't worry, they will automatically refund this to you once the cancellation has been processed. It could take a few weeks. If you don’t want to wait for this, you can cancel automatic payments through your bank.

Switching in January? Cancellation before 31 December

You can still switch in January of the new year. But then you’ll have to cancel your old health insurance yourself. This has to be done by January 31.

Switching after 1 January? This is can be done only in special situations

Changing or terminating your health insurance prematurely is permitted only in a number of exceptional situations. ‘Interim change (in Dutch: ‘tussentijds wijzigen’) refers to the period outside the health care season (mid-November to December 31). After January 31, you can only change your health insurance in a number of situations. For example, if you leave the Netherlands and no longer have a residence permit. Always ask your current health insurer about the conditions. Your health insurance will not be automatically terminated when you leave the Netherlands. You have to cancel your insurance yourself.

You will be permitted to change your health insurance during the year in these situations:

  • ​When you turn 18. 
  • If your policy conditions have changed in the meantime. If you arrive in the Netherlands and need to take out compulsory insurance.
  • If you are leaving military service and must take out health insurance. 
  • If the collective in which you participate is terminated.
  • If you get divorced. 
  • If you are not currently insured. 
  • If you leave the Netherlands to reside in another country.

The start date of a health insurance policy cannot be in the past. The start date can be no earlier than the date on which the health insurer receives your application.

How do you cancel?

You can usually cancel your health insurance by sending your health insurance company an email or by arranging the cancellation via your personal page on their website. If you want to send a cancellation letter by post, you can use our cancellation letter template. Check the website of your health insurer for specific instructions on how to cancel your insurance. Are you cancelling your health insurance and switching to a new one between mid-November and 31 December? Then you don't have to cancel your old insurance.

Medical acceptance? Don't wait too long to change health insurance policies.

Do you need extensive supplemental health insurance, for example because you have frequent visits to the dentist or physiotherapist? Then you may have to deal with medical underwriting by providing details about your medical history. The health insurance company may ask extra questions about your health, and may refuse you on that basis if they predict you will incur a lot of costs. This may lead to a problematic situation, especially if your old health insurance has already been cancelled. Therefore, don't wait until the last moment to switch. Finding a new insurer can take more time than usual.

Fortunately, there are only a few health insurance companies that have medical underwriting. And it’s good to know: If an insurer does not accept you for the package you want, they will always offer you a less comprehensive package.