The Dutch healthcare system

The Dutch healthcare system can be confusing for internationals. However it is important to understand how it works. With mandatory health insurance and an own-risk deductible, the system may seem unclear to foreigners.

Mandatory health insurance

In the Netherlands, health insurance is mandatory for all inhabitants and employees. It covers medical expenses like doctor visits, hospitalizations, and medications. The system ensures accessibility and affordability by requiring contributions from everyone. Basic insurance is obliged, with optional supplementary coverage available.

Healthcare benefit (Zorgtoeslag)

The healthcare benefit, known as zorgtoeslag, is a financial subsidy provided by the government to support individuals with lower incomes in paying their health insurance premiums. The amount of the healthcare benefit depends on various factors such as income, age, and living situation.

How to apply for healthcare benefit?

If you want to apply for healthcare benefit, you have to log in on Mijn Toeslagen. You will need a DigiD for this. Mijn Toeslagen is only available in Dutch. Apply for the health care benefit if you meet the conditions for healthcare benefit.

Apply for healthcare benefit

Basic insurance and additional insurance

The basic insurance package covers essential healthcare services and is the same for everyone. Supplementary insurances are optional and provide additional coverage for services like physiotherapy, dental treatments, and alternative medicine.

Basic insurance for children

It is also necessary to have a basic insurance for your children. Children under the age of 18 are free from paying premiums and do not have an own-risk deductible.

Own-Risk Deductible

An important component of the Dutch healthcare system is the own-risk deductible. This is the amount you have to pay yourself before the insurance starts covering costs. In 2023, the mandatory own-risk deductible is €385 per year. Note that not all healthcare expenses fall under the own-risk deductible, such as costs for visits to general practitioners and maternity care.

Read more about own risk

Which health insurance company do I choose?

There are different ways in which you choose your health insurance. For example, using a convenient comparison tool. You can find this tool on the website of the Consumer Association (Consumentenbond). Within a few minutes, you will discover which health insurance suits you.

Compare your health insurance

Online Support and General Practitioner Care

If you have health complaints, your first step is to make an appointment with a general practitioner. If necessary, the general practitioner will refer you to specialized care. It is important to register with a general practitioner to access basic healthcare services.

General practitioner care is increasingly being handled online, which is convenient for simple inquiries, repeat prescriptions, or discussing complaints that do not require a physical examination. However, please note that the online procedures may vary by practice, so it’s recommended to inquire with your own general practitioner about the specifics.