In the Netherlands, insurance companies handle obligatory excess for their basic medical health insurance. The deductible determines the one-off sum of specific health care costs that need to be paid by oneself for that year. In 2024 the obligatory deductible is €385,-. Not all costs are submitted to the obligatory deductible: for example, basic care like the family doctor can be visited at all times, receiving full medical coverage without paying a deductible. Once the sum of the deductible is paid, all additional health care is fully covered.
The obligatory deductible changes almost every year. The insurance premium that you pay for basic health care insurance depends on the voluntary excess you’ve chosen. The higher the voluntary excess, the lower the premium for basic health insurance plans. You can increase your deductible by a maximum of €500,-. This will result in a lower premium and a deductible of €385,- (obligatory) + €500,- (voluntary) = €885,-. Be aware that this means that your student health insurance will cover less of your expenses if you need (expensive) treatment. Basic medical health insurance does not cover all treatments and medicines. On top of basic healthcare insurance, it is possible to take out supplementary insurance with more medical coverage specifically for students. Good luck choosing your healthcare insurance!
Freedom of choice
The health insurance companies in the Netherlands often offer a variety of health insurance plans. Although the coverage of all basic packages is exactly the same, the freedom of choice concerning caregivers, like hospitals, can be different. A distinction can be made between the following insurance policies:
- Restitution policy: 100% freedom of choice. This plan requires that you pay the health care costs in advance. Afterwards, you receive full coverage and a refund of your health care insurance.
- Natura policy: this plan offers more limited freedom of choice between caregivers. Only caregivers with a contract with your health care insurance company are fully covered. In some cases, the freedom of choice can be high due to the extensive amount of contracts. Bills from caregivers are directly sent to your health insurance company; no need to pay in advance.
- Budget policy: the budget policy limits your freedom of choice. This results in a lower premium for your basic insurance, however, less freedom of choice. The budget plan also doesn’t require payment of health care costs in advance.
Urgent medical care
In case of emergency, limited freedom of choice does not apply. You will be brought to the nearest hospital for immediate care. The freedom of choice concerns planned and non-urgent health care.
Best health insurance in the Netherlands
What are the best health insurance plans in the Netherlands? Obviously, a high premium is not always guaranteeing the best medical insurance. Moreover, if you only take out basic Dutch student health insurance, the medical coverage is equal for all providers. Only the amount of hospitals and caregivers for planned health care can be more limited. If you need additional coverage, such as physiotherapy, dental insurance or alternative healthcare, cheap health insurance usually does not offer the best coverage. The best cheap health insurance might meet your needs, you can use our comparison tool above to find a suitable health insurance plan that best fits your needs. Last but not least, are you in doubt? Make sure you check the need for Dutch public health insurance on our page insurance options. In other cases, you might want to compare the best private health insurance.
What kind of insurance company?
Before you choose a specific insurance company it is recommendable to investigate whether this insurance company and the insurances they offer fit your needs. Reading experiences from other clients on the internet can be helpful, especially on the websites of the insurance companies themselves. There are also various forums on the internet where people share their experiences regarding insurance companies.
What care do I need?
Maybe not all the healthcare that you need is covered in the basic healthcare package of the insurer. Therefore you can choose to get supplementary insurance. It is important, beforehand, to think about what care you might need. There are many different supplementary insurance packages that are worthwhile considering. Additionally, these packages might differ per insurer. Compare the different options to make sure you get the desired coverage.
Of course, you want to save as much as possible on your healthcare insurance. However, a low premium for supplementary health care insurances often is an indication that the coverage is lower as well. Therefore it can be worthwhile paying a slightly higher premium in exchange for better coverage. It is very important that you thoroughly read and compare the insurance policies, in which you can find the exact coverage of different insurers before you opt for certain healthcare insurance.
What kind of insurance do I want?
In the Netherlands, there are three different types of insurance policies namely, a ‘Natura’ policy; a refund policy and a combined policy. We’ll explain the differences below:
A ‘Natura’ policy often offers low premiums because of the fact that the insurer has set contractual agreements with several healthcare providers. A disadvantage is that you are not free in choosing your own healthcare provider.
For a refund policy, you normally pay a higher premium. An advantage of this refund policy is that you are free in selecting a healthcare provider of your choice.
With a combined policy the insurance company has made agreements with some healthcare providers but not with all of them. This means that you are free in choosing a provider of choice. Nevertheless, in some cases, you’ll need to pay the bill upfront whilst at other health care providers the bill will automatically be sent to your insurer.