If you’re doing a paid internship or have a part-time job in the Netherlands (and receive at least the Dutch minimum wage that applies to your age group), then you are legally obligated to take out Dutch public health insurance (basisverzekering). This requirement exists regardless of your coverage elsewhere. Our health insurance section covers this topic in more depth, so make sure to check it out if you have questions!
Fortunately, the Dutch government offers zorgtoeslag, a health insurance subsidy available to those who have a low income. If you’re a student holding down a job, you will most likely fall under this category. The Belastingdienst (Dutch Tax and Customs Administration) is in charge of receiving and assessing applications. The subsidy is paid by the government, and it’s not a loan, so you don’t have to pay it back!
Please note that you can only apply for zorgtoeslag if you’re legally obliged to take out basisverzekering; you can’t simply opt for dutch public health insurance in order to receive the subsidy. We’ll go over the conditions for eligibility and the application process below.
Am I eligible for zorgtoeslag?
- You are at least 18 years old
- You have Dutch public health insurance (basisverzekering)
- You fulfill one of the nationality requirements listed below:
- You have Dutch nationality
- You are an EU/EFTA (Liechtenstein, Norway, Iceland or Switzerland) national and are registered at the Dutch municipality you live in
- You have a residence permit for the Netherlands (in this case, the subsidy is only valid for as long as your permit is valid)
- As of 2023, your income does not exceed €38,520 per year (click on the link to find out what counts as ‘income’ for the assessment of subsidy grants – for example, income from abroad is also taken into account!)
- As of January 2023, you shouldn’t have more assets than € 127,582 (according to the Belastingdienst, though, only your assets on January 1st 2023 count for the assessment)
How much money can I get?
The amount of zorgtoeslag you can receive depends on your situation; the Belastingdienst has a test calculation tool that you can use to (approximately) find out the amount. However, tread carefully: there is no guarantee that the final assessment by the Belastingdienst will give the same results as this tool, as you may have made a mistake when inputting your information, or something else may have gone wrong.
How can I apply for zorgtoeslag?
If you’ve checked that you fulfill all the eligibility conditions above, then you can apply for the subsidy! However, you still need to have a few things in order to be able to apply:
- You’ll need a DigiD to submit your application
- You’ll need to have information about your income ready (the Belastingdienst has a page with tips to help you calculate your income for the year correctly)
- Recommendation: activate your Berichtenbox op MijnOverheid; this is an online ‘message box’ where the government can send you digital letters. It’s handy because you’ll receive news about your application a lot faster
Got everything ready? Then log in to Mijn toeslagen (my allowances) with your DigiD. In the top left corner of Mijn toeslagen, you will see an overview of all allowances.
- Click on ‘Apply’ in the overview next to ‘zorgtoeslag‘
Answer the questions. They’ll be in Dutch, but an online translator (e.g. DeepL) will do the job. Once you’re done with a page, click on ‘Akkoord‘ (‘Agree’), which can be found at the bottom right of every page. Your data will be saved and a new page will open. Even if you don’t have to enter anything on a page, you should still click on ‘Akkoord‘.
- Have you fully completed your application?
Then you’ll see ‘Akkoord en verzenden‘ (‘Agree and send’) at the bottom right. Clicking on it will submit your zorgtoeslag application.
When will I receive an answer?
You should receive a letter in your Berichtenbox op MijnOverheid within 8 weeks of your application.
Can I get zorgtoeslag if I live abroad?
This is possible if you meet certain conditions. If you live outside the Netherlands, but still work in the Netherlands, you will have to follow a different procedure. Check out our page to find out more.
How can i cancel my zorgtoeslag?
When you leave Maastricht or stop working, it is important to cancel your healthcare subsidy. This can be done very easily and is definitely worth the small effort to avoid fines. Here is a step-by-step guide to cancelling your subsidy.
- Log onto Mijn toeslagen
- Select “Wijziging doorgeven” (Submit change) and then “Toeslag stoppen” (stop subsidy)
- Choose “Ik wil mijn toeslag stopzetten” (I want to end my subsidy)
- Fill in the date on when you want your subsidy to end
- Click on “Zorgtoeslag” to cancel your healthcare subsidy
- Answer the questions that follow. If you don’t understand them, you can use google translate for translations
You will then not receive any healthcare subsidy after this date (from the following month onwards). In case you forget to cancel your subsidy, the subsidy agency will contact you by mail. Thus, if you are moving away from Maastricht or the Netherlands, it is essential that you de-register, otherwise this letter will not find you and might lead to bigger problems later on.