Dutch basic healthcare insurance

On this page you will find practical information about the Dutch basic healthcare insurance (‘basisverzekering’). For example, information regarding applying for Dutch healthcare insurance and what is covered with this insurance.

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When are you obliged to take out Dutch basic healthcare insurance?

Dutch citizens living or working in the country must take out basic healthcare insurance. The rule of thumb is that you don’t need to take out basic Dutch health insurance if the sole purpose of your stay is temporarily studying in the Netherlands.

When you work in the Netherlands, however, you are obliged to take out public Dutch healthcare insurance. If you’re only going to study, you can keep your home country insurance if possible or take out private health insurance. If you are an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen, you can request a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) from your home country’s insurance company. With this card, you can easily show you are well-insured. However, ensure that coverage is sufficient for your stay in the Netherlands. Your personal situation is determined by the Sociale Verzekeringsbank (SVB, the Social Security Office). If you have doubts concerning your situation, you can present your case to the SVB.

What do you need to take out Dutch basic healthcare insurance?

If you are obliged to take out Dutch basic healthcare insurance you need a citizen service number (‘burgerservicenummer’). To apply for a citizen service number, you have to go to your local town hall and register yourself as an inhabitant (‘GBA inschrijving’). This is a database with information about the residents of the Netherlands. If you are from a non-EU country, you must apply for a residence permit at the Immigration and Naturalization Service office (IND). To successfully apply for the residence permit you to need to bring the following documents:

  • BSN (Burgerservice) Number;
  • Municipality registration;
  • Bank account number

The next step is, after being successfully registered at the IND, a visit to the town hall of your local municipality. Here you need to be registered as a new inhabitant to obtain a citizen service number.

What is covered with a basic healthcare insurance?

The coverage of basic healthcare is determined by the Dutch government. That means the coverage is the same at all the different health insurance companies. In short, the basic healthcare insurance covers:

  • Hospital admission & care
  • General practitioner medical consults & treatments
  • Medical aids (limited)
  • Medication (limited)
  • Treatments & operations by medical specialists
  • Psychological treatment (GP and specialists with a reference)
  • Emergency treatments abroad (Dutch rates)
  • Maternity care (limited)
  • Physiotherapy (only for people with chronic conditions)
  • Treatment of speech-language pathologies
  • Occupational therapy
  • Transport with ambulance
  • Diet & eating advice
  • Dental care until the age of 18 years

If you need additional coverage, you can take out supplementary health insurance for:

  • Physiotherapy
  • Medical care abroad for treatment costs above Dutch rates
  • Orthodontics
  • Alternative healing therapies
  • Glasses & lenses
  • Dental care
  • Birth control
  • Vaccination

Choose a Dutch basic healthcare insurance

To make it easier for you to decide which Dutch basic healthcare insurance best fits your needs, we’ve compared all the student healthcare insurances and made a Compare Dutch Health Insurance.

The obligatory deductible excess changes every year. In 2024 this excess is €385,-. Before your insurance policy will cover certain medical expenses, like hospital admission, an obligatory deductible excess is charged. The excess amount is only charged once and applies only to certain medical expenses. Fortunately, the obligatory deductible excess does not apply to all types of medical care. Exempted are, for example, appointments with your general practitioner, obstetric care and maternity care.

Voluntary deductible excess

You can also opt for a higher voluntary deductible excess by increasing the obligatory deductible excess (€385,-) up to €500,- to a maximum of €885,-. This will result in a lower monthly premium, although it also implies that you’ll have to pay the first €885,- of certain medical expenses. The higher the voluntary deductible excess, the lower the premium you have to pay for your healthcare insurance.

A calculation example:

Your medical care expenses are €800,- and you have a voluntary deductible excess of €200,-. You have to pay the obligatory deductible excess of €385,- plus the voluntary deductible excess of €200,-. The healthcare insurance company will pay you €215,- of the total medical care expenses. If you would need more medical treatments, all medical costs will be covered that year since you’ve already paid the full deductible excess once.

Healthcare allowance

You might be eligible for ‘zorgtoeslag’ or healthcare allowance in the Netherlands. This means you can receive financial aid from the Dutch government to pay the monthly premium and deductible excess, created to help out lower-income groups like students.

More information about the requirements of the ‘zorgtoeslag’ can be found on our page about healthcare allowance.

Collective healthcare insurance

The possibility exists that your educational institution or other association made a deal with a healthcare insurance company. There are also collectivities for students that offer discounts on the premium; for example, Studenten Goed Verzekerd from Zilveren Kruis. These collectives do, however, only provide discounts for supplementary insurance. Insurance companies are not allowed to provide discounts on the basic healthcare insurance. Want to know more?

Compare all student health insurances


We are an independent website specialising in insurance and students. We work with a team of specialists in the field of student insurance.


This page was created by using the following sources:

  • www.rijksoverheid.nl
  • www.hetcak.nl
  • www.belastingdienst.nl
  • www.zorgverzekeringslijn.nl

Information verified by expert

linda van ReenenThe information on this page has been verified by
Linda van Reenen. She is a specialist in the field of student insurance and has been working for Studentenverzekeringen.nl for over five years.

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We are not healthcare providers and are not allowed to provide medical advice. Do you have specific medical questions? We advise you to see a doctor or healthcare provider.

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