Health insurance for the Netherlands

Moving to the Netherlands? Worried about healthcare? Then you’re in the right place! We’ll go over everything you need to arrange health insurance-wise before your arrival.

Health insurance is compulsory

In the Netherlands, having health insurance is required by law. Everyone who lives, studies or works in the Netherlands is required to have some form of valid health insurance. What form depends on your situation.

If you’re coming to Maastricht to study, we highly recommend that you start looking into your health insurance before you arrive; this might end up saving you a lot of trouble and money. Some students may even need to take out the required health insurance before their arrival. Others may not be able to do so until they get to Maastricht, and yet others may not have to do anything. We’ll cover the most common scenarios for arriving students, and the insurance requirements applicable to each.

We highly recommend that you then sort out your insurance (if it needs to be sorted out) as soon as you can. Let’s get started!

If you’re in the Netherlands for study purposes only…

Are you moving to Maastricht to study, and don’t intend on working or conducting a paid internship? Then you should know that you are legally not allowed to take out Dutch public health insurance. The insurance you do need will then depend on where you’re from:

… and you’re an EU student with a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)

If you’re coming to Maastricht to study, you don’t plan on getting a job or paid internship, and you have a EHIC, then we’ve got good news for you! In principle, you have enough health insurance coverage to not run into any legal problems during your stay in the Netherlands.

So in theory, if this is your situation, you don’t need to do anything about your health insurance – you won’t receive any scary letters threatening you with fines, and any basic medical costs you incur in NL will probably be covered.

However, you should always be careful about relying too much on the EHIC, as it might not cover the same costs in the Netherlands as in your home country. Furthermore, while the card should be enough for a young, healthy person who doesn’t require any specialist medical care, if you have particular health needs, you should check with your national insurance provider to see if your EHIC offers you sufficient coverage for these needs. If this is not the case, you should arrange for a supplementary private insurance.

… and you’re an EU student without an EHIC

If you’re an EU student coming to Maastricht to study, you don’t plan on getting a job or paid internship, and you don’t have a EHIC, you can either look into applying for an EHIC, or you can opt for a private insurance. For the latter case, Maastricht University recommends Aon Student Insurance.

… and you’re a non-EU student

If you’re a non-EU student coming to Maastricht to study, you don’t plan on getting a job or paid internship, and you’re already insured (e.g. in your home country, or under an international insurance), you should contact your provider to check whether your current policy sufficiently covers you in the Netherlands. If this is the case, then you’re fine!

If all the above applies to you but you’re not already insured, or your current insurance doesn’t cover you in NL, you will need to apply for an international or private insurance. Again, Maastricht University recommends Aon Student Insurance, but you can also opt for a different provider. Examples include Allianz’s and ISI’s international student health insurances.

If you’re in the Netherlands to study and plan on working or interning…

Students in the Netherlands who:

  1. Have a zero-hour (casual) working contract,
  2. Get a (part-time) job (that pays at least the Dutch minimum wage), or
  3. Undertake a paid internship (NB: any expenses covered by your internship – e.g. housing – are considered payment)

are legally obliged to take out Dutch public health insurance (basisverzekering) as of their first day of work. Not doing so could result in hefty (upwards of €300) fines from the government. We will go over this kind of insurance in the next page.

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