Health insurance from the age of 18

They say that the Netherlands is one of the most liberal and free countries in the world. This country, however, does have obligations as well. If you are living in the Netherlands and are 18 years old or older, you are obliged to have health insurance. Continue reading for more information on health insurances in the Netherlands for foreigners and expats.

Just one month

Until the age of 18 you are insured for free with your parents’ insurance. This changes when you turn 18. The government gives you one month time to take out health insurance. If you do not take out health insurance, you will be fined by the government.

International students and Dutch health insurances

Not all international students are obliged to take out Dutch health insurance. The situation depends on factors such as your age or your country of origin. Find more information on this subject on our Dutch basic healthcare insurance page.

Comparing health insurances

Taking out health insurance is not a fun activity. However, it can be worthwhile to delve into the subject. By comparing different health insurances you can find the insurance that both meets all your needs and is the cheapest option in that group as well. Check our Compare Dutch Health Insurance tool for an overview of cheap and good health insurances for young people and students in the Netherlands. This page also makes it possible to take out health insurance directly within five minutes.

Annual switching period

Normally it is only possible to take out a new health insurance policy from mid-November to the 31st of December. An exception is made when you turn 18. It is then possible to change your insurance at any time of the year, as long as it is within one month after you turn 18. After you’ve chosen your health insurance for the first time, you must stick to the annual switching period. This means that you can only take out new health insurance at the end of each year.

The health insurance of your parents

Until the age of 18 you are insured for free through your parents. When you turn 18 you have the option to keep this insurance. However, the insurance of your parents is not always the best option for you. As a youngster, you probably make little use of care and therefore may not need that expensive supplementary insurance.

Monthly premium

You pay for your health insurance by a fixed premium. This premium is debited monthly from your bank account. You take out the health insurance for a one-year period. After this year the premium of the health insurance can be increased. In order to help you pay for the premium every month, you can apply for a health insurance allowance from the Dutch Tax Authorities.

Deductible excess

In 2024 there is an obligatory deductible excess of €385,-. This is the amount that you always have to pay yourself when you make healthcare costs. By choosing a voluntary deductible excess you can increase this amount. The advantage of a high deductible is that your monthly healthcare premium will go down. This is a good option if you make little healthcare costs.

Declaring costs

Health insurers have made agreements with certain healthcare institutions. If you receive medical assistance from one of these healthcare providers, the bill will go directly to your health insurer. It is possible that you receive an invoice from a healthcare institution. If this happens, you must declare the bill yourself to the health insurer. This is why you should save these invoices well! Declaring costs can be done nowadays using the internet or apps on your smartphone. For more information on student health insurances, see our Frequently Asked Questions page.


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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 for over five years.

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