What does health care look like in the Netherlands, and what are the laws regarding health insurance? In this blog we cover what the rules are, and how to can get covered today!
Every person who lives or works in the Netherlands is legally obliged to take out standard health insurance to cover the cost of, for example, consulting a general practitioner, hospital treatment and prescription medication. You may also opt to take out additional insurance to cover costs not included in the standard package. Thus, if you are employed here, you will need
to sign up with a Dutch insurance company as soon as possible. Insurance providers are all private companies and there are many to choose from. Here are just a few examples:
Check this comparison site to compare the fees of different healthcare providers.
Please note that you must sign up for health insurance as soon as possible upon arriving in the Netherlands; if you wait, you will be obligated to back-pay from the date of your arrival (e.g. if you arrive in June but wait to sign up for insurance until September, you will be required to pay the monthly rate for June-August in addition to September).
For more about the Dutch healthcare system and insurance, please visit this website Government – Health Insurance
Choosing a general practitioner or dentist
It is mandatory to choose a huisarts (general practitioner) and a dentist. You can ask your healthcare provider for available doctors & dentists in your area. Unfortunately, however, sometimes a doctor or dentist will have a patiëntenstop (‘patient stop’). This means that they already have a full patient list and cannot take any new patients, in which case you will need to choose another.
In the event that your doctor is unavailable and you have an urgent medical condition, you should contact an out-of-hours medical service (huisartsenpost) and they will advise you to either go directly to the emergency room or to visit them. In both cases, you must ensure that you take your health insurance card.
The national emergency services number (to call the police, an ambulance, the fire brigade, etc) is 112.