Health Insurance letters (CAK Nederland)

The Dutch healthcare system is based on insurance. It is very important that you are insured or you know whether or not you need Dutch public health insurance, because you can get a large fine if you’re wrong. You can use this flow chart to see if you need to take out Dutch health insurance. If you are not insured yet, then look at our page on health insurance options to find the best choice for you.

Some people don’t need to be insured because they aren’t working next to their studies, and they are an EU citizen. However, because the Dutch law states that everyone needs health insurance, you need to prove that you are exempt. This is very easy to do, and there are steps at the bottom of this page.

If you don’t do this, then an organisation called the CAK will send you a letter asking you to prove you don’t need Dutch public health insurance. The envelope looks like this, and here is an English translation of the CAK letter.

What happens if I ignore the letter?

Once this letter arrives, you will only have 3 months to fill out and send off the form, otherwise you will have to pay a fine of €402,24. After this fine, another letter arrives, and you again have 3 months to send off the form and prove you don’t need Dutch health insurance. If you fail to do this again, the fine is doubled to over €800 euros! This means it is much easier to send them the form now and not have to worry about any fines.

Lots of students don’t read the CAK letter or don’t receive the letter because they didn’t notify the municipality about a new address. This does not mean that the fines disappear, they just keep doubling every 3 months. Please follow the steps below to save yourself a lot of hassel!

How to deal with a CAK letter

  1. The CAK has sent you a letter asking if you have Dutch health insurance. You do not need this insurance, but you do need to prove that you are exempt. You do this by requesting an “Assessment of your Wlz Insurance Position” via the SVB.
  2. There are two ways to get the assessment
    1. Print and fill out this form . On question 5, “Reason for assessment,” tick the last option that says you have received a letter from the CAK for not having insurance.
    2. Request an online assessment. This is only possible if you have a DigID. You can go through the request online here.
  3. If you chose to print the form, you have to send it to SVB, Postbus 18607, 3501 CR Utrecht. Don’t forget to include a copy of your certificate of enrollment (which you can get from the SSC). Also, remember to put a stamp on the envelope! Stamps can be bought at most supermarkets or bookstores.
  4. After 2 to 3 months you will receive a letter from the SVB either confirming that you do not need Dutch health insurance, or telling you that you must take out Dutch health insurance.


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