Healthcare Insurance Act

It is very important to have proper health care insurance when you are coming to the Netherlands for a longer period of time. The Dutch Healthcare System is set out in the Health Care Insurance Act. If you are planning to stay in the Netherlands for a longer period of time it is recommended to get acquainted with this act. On this page, we will provide you with additional information on this act.


The health care act is introduced because of an occurrence in the nineties. During that time the European court decided that all the people living in Europe were free in choosing their own health care provider, regardless of the country of origin.
Countries, like the Netherlands, with long waiting lists for medical treatments, feared the loss of clients to other European countries. Instead of increasing the health care offering, the Netherlands decided to increase the quality of health care. This resulted in the Health Care Act which ensures proper, high-quality health care.

Health care insurance Act

In January 2006 the Health Care Insurance Act was adopted in the Netherlands. The Dutch Health Care Act is introduced to provide a certain standard to the people who have healthcare insurance, each person who works or lives in the Netherlands is obliged to have one.

Basic package

Consequently, the Dutch government obliged the insurance companies to offer certain medical care in their basic packages. The Dutch government, each year, re-establishes the contents of this basic health care package.
The most important health care costs are covered in the basic package which is provided by the insurance companies. This standard insurance package is compulsory for all the inhabitants of the Netherlands. In addition, everybody is able to acquire extra insurance which will cover several additional health care costs. This extra insurance is not compulsory.

What else?

Moreover, the act states that insurance companies are not allowed to reject anyone who wants to apply for insurance. For that reason you are free to choose the insurance company you prefer and which suits best to your wishes. Besides, you are allowed to switch to another insurance company once a year, without risking additional costs.


For a basic insurance package, you will pay a fixed price, which differs per insurance company.


The Dutch healthcare act has set out the minimum requirements for basic health care insurance (they change each year) for all the insurance companies, the coverage is the same for every insurance company.
This basic package includes:

  • Hospital admission
  • Medication (limited)
  • Transport by ambulance
  • Treatments by medical specialists
  • Emergency treatments abroad