78According to the Dutch law, everyone who lives or works in the Netherlands must have a health insurance to cover expenses for common medical care services. And it’s no matters, do you live and have no job, or you work on a part-time job in the Holland. You must have heard that Dutch healthcare system is one of the best in EU. As you already guessed, in this part of #RelocationGuideToTheNetherlands we are talking about the Dutch health insurance for expats.
How does the Dutch health insurance system work?
You are required to obtain a basic Dutch private health insurance within four months of entering the country. You can arrange your health insurance with a company of your own choosing, or you can decide to do it with the insurance provider selected by the company. The same conditions that apply for you will apply for your partner. Children under 18 are covered for free under their parents’ Dutch health care insurance.
What does the basic health package covers:
- GP (general practitioner) consultations;
- Treatments from specialists and hospital care ;
- Dental care and physiotherapy up to 18 years old ;
- Care from certain therapists, such as speech therapists;
- Basic mental health services;
- Anti-smoking programs;
- Dietary advice;
- Obstetrics and maternity care.
Dutch insurance companies
It is not easy to choose a Dutch insurance company. Not only because of the plenty of them, also because of the Dutch language. Sometimes even online translator can fail you, luckily some sites provide information in English.
We recommend you to check some comparison sites, e.g. Independer or KiesBeter. There you can search for companies which situated near your new home, see the prices, what cases did they cover and what the excess payment (the amount you co-pay for certain treatments).
Some Dutch health insurance companies:
Don’t wait until you need a doctor!
In the Netherlands, the GP (‘huisarts’) is the first port of call when you have health problems. In the Netherlands, you can only visit a specialized doctor, or go to a hospital if it is an emergency, or you obtain a referral by your doctor. Therefore, it is important to find your own family doctor soon after your arrival.
Doctors have their practices in residential areas and operate on an appointment system. Take a note that not all doctors are able to accept new patients. First of all, you need to register at a GP clinic. Choose the one closest to your house: it will give you convenient access to a doctor, especially in the case of emergency.
When should you contact the doctor?
The GP should be the first point of call for all medical problems, with except for real emergencies. When you suffer from flu, twisted an ankle, have an abdominal pain, psychological problems, chronic illness or even gynecological problems, contact the doctor first. Make an appointment with him through the telephone. A house call is not a normal practice, but if the problem is serious, the doctor may make it. After a diagnosis is clear, the doctor prescribes a treatment plan. The doctor can treat the problem by himself, prescribe a medicine and so forth. Alternatively, he/ she may refer you to a specialist in a hospital. A referral is always necessary to see a specialist. However, it doesn’t apply to contact physiotherapists or midwives.
Hints and tips
- The Dutch insurance companies can’t deny coverage because of gender, age or health profile in according to the law.
- Until the December 31st of every year, you have your right to change the health insurance provider for the following year.
- Some companies offer corporate health insurance schemes which are cheaper than taking out a policy individually.
- Certain services may have long waiting lists.
- Most of the doctors speak English.
You have read the most important points about Health insurance in the Netherlands. We’re doing our best to make your IT job relocation much simpler. Take care of yourself and your family.