Health Insurance in the Netherlands
For anybody who lives and works in the Netherlands it’s mandatory to have some sort of health insurance. In contrary to a countries like Spain or Portugal, health insurance here is not free, but there is a care allowance which can cover costs of health insurance. But will tell you later on, how this works.
Find what you need to know in this article about the healthcare system that is used in the Netherlands.
All what you need to know about collective health insurance
If this is your first time in the Netherlands and you are going to start working with an agency, they will sign you up for their collective health insurance. As long as you don’t have or want a private health insurance. Collective insurance is a very normal thing, two third of the Netherlands are insured through a collective plan with work or for example or as a family.
What is a collective health insurance?
A collective health insurance is practically the same as a basic health insurance but a little bit cheaper. Many people believe that the insurance will cover expenses like visiting a dentist or a physiotherapist, but these are unfortunately not included unless there is an emergency, such as a tooth losing in an accident or a work-related accident requiring physiotherapy.
How does it work for an employee?
From the moment you become an employee, you become part of the collective insurance plan. You must sign an authorization form for this.
- You will receive your health insurance card digitally and a policy sheet through our app P4F.
- The costs will be deducted from your salary. In 2023, the weekly costs are 33.45 euros.
- When you have a medical issue and you need to visit a doctor or a hospital, they will ask for the information on the card. This information will make sure that the costs that are being made will go automatically to the health insurance company. Most things are covered, very few are partially covered and even fewer things are not covered.
What is covered by the collective health insurance:
As we earlier said most things are covered by the collective health insurance. But it may be that when you want to visit a specialized doctor you need to have a referral from a healthcare provider (doctor) or permission from our health insurance company. If you do not have this, it can be that the costs will not be covered. You cannot visit a medical specialist in the hospital in the Netherlands without a referral from your general practitioner(doctor).
Here you have a list of what it covers:
- General practitioner (GP, General Doctor): Always reimbursed. These costs are also reimbursed if you are not registered with a GP and the GP therefore charges a visiting patient rate.
- Medicines: The government determines which medicines are covered. Sometimes you pay a personal contribution. It is possible that the GP prescribes a medicine that is not cover. This often concerns medicines that are available without a prescription at a drugstore or supermarket. Think of paracetamol and stomach tablets.
- Physiotherapy: The government determines for which conditions physiotherapy treatments are covered. Most of it is not covered, but it can be that if physiotherapy is necessary to get back to work, that it may be covered. Or if the physical complaints are work related it could also be that you could get some money back with a maximum of €35 per treatment (Maximum 10 session a year).
- Hospital & medical specialists: The government determines which treatments are covered. In the Netherlands you cannot go directly to the hospital for an appointment with a gynecologist or internist, for example. For this you need a referral from your general practitioner.
- Medical aids: The government determines which aids are covered. Sometimes you pay a personal contribution. Crutches are not covered.
- Dentist: The government determines which treatments are reimbursed if there is a medical issue. All other treatments are not covered.
In many cases, the hospital or the clinic declares the costs directly to the health insurance. Have you received an invoice with healthcare costs yourself? Then you can send this to the agency you work for so that they can send it to the insurance company. Or you can send it to the health insurance company yourself. In addition to that, if you are required to pay, you can send the receipt and the health insurance company will pay you. In many cases getting medicine at a Pharmacy you will have to pay by yourself, and then you can send us the receipt. But for example, if an invoice from a clinic ends up at your doorstep, you can send the invoice directly to the health insurance company.
Why is there no (full) cover for some healthcare costs?
If you choose a hospital or a clinic with whom your healthcare company does not have a contract, you may have to pay part of the costs yourself. At People Work Service we work with zem.nl/zorgzoeker you can check there with which care providers ZEM has a contract. Most of the time the agency or the GP will always refer you to a hospital that your health insurance has a contract with.
Does this insurance also apply to healthcare costs outside the Netherlands?
You are insured worldwide for emergency care. The reimbursement you receive for care abroad is never higher than the cost of treatment in the Netherlands.
What about “Own Risk”:
You probably heard or read about the own risk when you searched for more information about health insurance in the Netherlands. When you have a collective insurance most of the time the company paid of the own risk, which means that there is no own risk you have to pay if there is a medical issue. When you work People Work Service, they already paid it off so there’s no own risk you have to pay.
All what you need to know about individual health insurance
As was said before, having a health insurance while you are working in the Netherlands is mandatory doesn’t matter if you come for a long term or just for temporary work. If you don’t want to be collective insured you can go for a private health insurance.
Online you can find which insurance fits your needs, for example on www.independer.nl
Every insurance has a basic insurance and from there you will choose what you want to have as extra options. You can choose if you want to have dental care in your plan or physiotherapy and all kinds of things. Based on what you choose, a monthly price will be determined. There are a number of well-known insurance companies in the Netherlands, including VGZ, CZ Menzis, DSW, IAK, and OHRA.
How you pay the individual health insurance?
This is also one of the differences with the collective health insurance, you decide how you pay for It. But with most insurances you can pay monthly or per year, weekly is not possible.
Can I have individual private health insurance if I work for People Work Service and how do I get one?
If you choose to get your own health insurance, you are free to do so. But we recommend you start with the collective health insurance because you cannot get insurance without payslips or a registration in the city or town you live. If you do so, you can sign up for a private insurance by filling all of your personal information on the register from of the insurance company. Keep in mind, that when you have private insurance, we can’t help you in many cases cause it’s not an insurance we work with.
What does the basic Dutch health insurance cover?
What the basic health insurance covers is practically the same as the collective plan. You can check the link from the government is in Dutch but you can translate it. There you can find an explanation of what is covered by a basic health insurance plan: https://bit.ly/3kB2PuW
Health Care Allowance (care benefit)
The application for the care benefit / care allowance (Zorgtoeslag) can be submitted online, how much it is, will be depending on how much you earn a month. For example, someone that has a minimum wage salary can get up to €154,- a month. When you have an own private insurance you can apply for the care allowance with a DIGID online at the website of the Belastingdienst. Here is the link https://bit.ly/3Zb1E3G
If you are insured with the collective plan with our agency, we can check if you can get some money back and if yes we can apply for it.
What about “Own Risk”:
When you choose a private health insurance keep in mind there’s an own risk of €385 or higher a year. It’s possible to make the own risk higher, in that case your monthly costs for health insurance will become less. Own risk basically means that when you have a medical issue the first 385 euros of costs will have to be paid by you. Most people
Individual or collective health insurance which one to choose?
After reading all this you must have been wondering which health insurance to choose individual or collective health insurance. We recommend that if you are new in the Netherlands or you are here for a short time that you choose for a collective health insurance if that is offered. Even if you are staying for a longer time, we recommend to take the collective insurance as well just to start with. After some time, you can always go to an individual insurance and see what needs are best fitted for you. You can then make your own insurance plan.