Restitution or in-kind policy?

Do you have a restitutiepolis (restitution policy)? Then you are free to choose which hospital and which specialist you want to go to. If you have an naturapolis (in-kind policy), then you will only receive full reimbursement if you go to a contracted hospital. But it is reassuring to know: In case of an emergency you can go to any hospital. Would you like to make an appointment with a specialist? Then you need a referral from the general practitioner (GP). 

Can I always go to the hospital?

Even without health insurance, you can always receive care at the hospital for emergencies. The hospital cannot refuse the care you need. If you don't have insurance, you will have to pay the costs yourself. In theory, this shouldn't happen, because it is compulsory to have health insurance. Do you come from abroad? In that case, it is important that you apply for health insurance within four months of registering in the Netherlands. The registration date is the effective date of the insurance. All medical expenses incurred on or after this date will be reimbursed. 

For example: You registered in the Netherlands on 1 August. On 3 August, you have an accident, and have to go to the hospital. You have not yet applied for health insurance, so you have to pay the costs yourself. If you apply for health insurance before 1 December, the costs incurred will be reimbursed when your insurance application is approved. What happens if you don't apply for health insurance within four months after registration? Your insurance will commence on the day you applied for the insurance, not on the day you were registered in the Netherlands. So, any medical costs you incur prior to the commencement of insurance will not be reimbursed.

Do I have to pay a deductible/excess?

Medical costs in hospital or ambulance transport to the hospital fall under deductible costs. The deductible in 2022 is €385.

How do I know if a hospital has a contract with my health insurance company?

You can check with Independer whether your hospital has a contract with your health insurance provider.