Health insurance

If you already have European Health insurance, or any other insurance that covers you in the Netherlands, and you don’t work next to your studies, then you don’t need to take out any local insurance! In fact, you are legally not allowed to take out Dutch public health insurance if you’re only here to study. If this is your situation, make sure your insurance from your home country covers you, or you could also consider taking out Dutch private health insurance.

However, you are legally obliged to take out Dutch public insurance if you are carrying out a paid internship or a part-time job (and receiving at least the Dutch minimum wage that applies to your specific situation). This requirement exists regardless of your coverage elsewhere. If you are employed in the Netherlands you will need Dutch health insurance.

If you choose not to work in the Netherlands during your degree , then you will not need Dutch insurance. However, if you do get a job (including a paid internship), you must take out insurance as soon as possible or you will be violating Dutch law. The International Student Helpdesk (ISH) has made this decision tree to guide you through the decision of whether to get health insurance. 

You should also take a look at our finances section to find out how to receive a subsidy in order to help cover your insurance costs.

If you are feeling confused and you’re not exactly sure what you should do, you can call the Zorgverzekeringslijn. Their website has incredibly detailed information for international students, as well as a hotline that you can call from abroad if you have questions. They also have a full dictionary of Dutch health terms!

Another great resource for more information is the CAK website. It gives a great overview of main topics, as well as tips and useful websites for finding and choosing your health insurance. If you have received a letter from the CAK regarding health insurance, you can check out our dedicated page to learn how to deal with this.


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