Health insurance is one of the first things you should consider arranging when you decide to study abroad. Health insurance in the Netherlands can be costly and confusing to orient, but luckily College Life knows you’d rather be spending your time doing other things. That’s why we’ve teamed up with United Consumers to help make health insurance understandable and affordable.
Do you need health insurance in the Netherlands?
When the European Union was formed, many benefits could be shared across borders. In addition to capital, labor, goods, and services, health insurance counts across borders. This means that, if you already have a European insurance provider, you’re covered in the Netherlands due to your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). If you are European, prior to studying in the Netherlands, you can request an EHIC from your local government at no additional cost. This EHIC ensures that you are insured in all EEA countries and Switzerland. Please note that this doesn’t mean you don’t need travel insurance. If you go on a trip to another European country where you’ll be doing extreme sports or are at risk of theft, consider purchasing temporary travel insurance. The EHIC only applies to health insurance you would normally receive in your home country.
However, if you want to work in the Netherlands and are European, you must purchase a Dutch health insurance plan. An EHIC is not sufficient to obtain a work contract.
If you do not already have European health insurance and are coming to study in the Netherlands, you must purchase a Dutch health insurance. This is because everyone in the Netherlands is required to have a health insurance plan. As you will become a resident of the Netherlands, you must abide by this rule. An insurance plan from your non-European home country is not sufficient. Besides, not having insurance here in the Netherlands would quickly become very costly for you anyway, if you ever had an accident or emergency.
- To sum up, you DO NOT need health insurance if: you have an EHIC and will NOT be working in the Netherlands.
- You DO need health insurance if: you have an EHIC and WILL be working in the Netherlands, or DO NOT have a European health insurance
The benefits of Dutch health insurance
- The Netherlands is very liberal in its health care system in that it truly believes in coverage and high-quality healthcare for all. The Health Insurance Act of 2006 was enacted under the belief that all residents in the Netherlands should have access to basic health insurance. This means that insurance companies work closely under government regulation to ensure that premiums are affordable and fair.
- This also means that almost all health insurance companies in the Netherlands are non-profit in the sense that any profits they turn are translated into lower insurance premiums for consumers. Therefore, the Dutch health insurance market is very fair and transparent.
- The basic health insurance is the same for all healthcare companies, meaning the basic insurance at all companies entails the same benefits. You cannot be refused from an insurance company due to your age or a pre-existing condition.
The average costs
There are various levels of health insurance in the Netherlands. The cheapest and most basic form of insurance is basisverzekering (basic healthcare) and is required for all residents of the Netherlands do not have an EHIC. If you would like to get coverage for more extensive medical attention, such as a dentistry or physical therapy, you can purchase extra insurance (aanvullendeverzekering). Additionally, you can set your own deductible (eigen risico). The monthly price of your healthcare depends on how much extra insurance you purchase and how high you set your deductible.
The price of your monthly premium can vary, but the cheapest option starts at 101,35 euros per month. This is for a 385 euro deductible and for the most basic insurance. You can pay for various accumulating levels of extra insurance for more coverage.
There are three forms of basic health insurance
- The cheapest basic health insurance has contracts with a limited number of health services providers, and for these providers, you will be 100% insured. At other health service providers that do not have a contract with this health insurance, you will be covered for 70% of costs.
- The second level of basic health insurance is most often chosen. This allows you to go to more healthcare providers and be covered 100% than in the most basic health insurance. In case of an emergency, you are welcomed at any hospital.
- The highest level of basic health insurance is slightly more expensive. With this insurance, you have the same access as the second insurance, and if you go to a healthcare provider that is not in the network of the healthcare provider, your fees are compensated to the market price for that particular health service.
Health insurance allowance
One of the greatest aspects of health insurance in the Netherlands is that there is zorgtoeslag (healthcare allowance). This is a monthly subsidy provided by the government to compensate citizens for their healthcare expenditures. The government does this to ensure that all citizens can afford healthcare. Currently, the healthcare allowance is set at 94 euros per month. This, however, depends on your income level. This subsidy is paid to your Dutch bank account every month before the end of the month, several days before your health insurance premium is taken from your bank account. Please note that this is not automatically done for you when you sign up for health insurance. You must apply for healthcare allowance on the Dutch government website.
Sign up for health insurance
United Consumers is a collective consumer services provider. The company purchases large portions of services, in this case, healthcare, and thus pays a discounted price to providers. Then, when United Consumers allocates these services to individuals, they divide the discount they received over the consumers. This means you’re getting quality health insurance for the lowest possible price. This is service and price quality, guaranteed.
College Life and United Consumers know you’ve got a lot on your plate, and we want to help you phase smoothly into student life in the Netherlands. We recognize that health insurance in the Netherlands is difficult for international students to arrange. And that’s why we wanted to help. Now, you can find the best insurance at stellar prices all in one place.
Don’t wait; sign up for your optimal health insurance in the Netherlands.