Standard health insurance

Everyone 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.

Standard package

The government decides on the cover provided by the standard package. All insurers offer the same standard package. Healthcare insurers are obliged to accept anyone who applies for the standard insurance package and must charge all policyholders the same premium, regardless of their age or state of health.

The health insurance system in the Netherlands is based on the principle of social solidarity. Together, we all pay the overall cost of health care. Everyone contributes, for example, to the cost of maternity care and geriatric care.

Additional insurance

Not all health care is covered by the standard package. You can opt to take out additional insurance to cover, for example, physiotherapy or dental care. Additional insurance is not obligatory and you are not obliged to take out the standard package and additional insurance with the same insurance company.

Insurance companies are not obliged to accept everyone who applies for additional insurance. An insurance company can refuse to accept you as a client or can ask you about your health before accepting you.

Standard health insurance premium

You pay a fixed, nominal premium to your insurance company for the standard health insurance package.

People on a low income may be eligible for healthcare benefit to help pay for health insurance. 

Children under 18 insured free of charge for standard package

Children under the age of 18 must have health insurance but do not pay premiums for the standard package. Parents must register their child with an insurance company within four months of its birth.

Income-related contribution

In addition to the nominal premium, you must pay an income-related contribution for the standard package. This contribution, a percentage of your income, is laid down in the Healthcare Insurance Act (ZVW) and is also known as the ZVW contribution.

Your employer will remit the ZVW contribution directly to the Health Insurance Fund.

Taking out health insurance for someone else

You can take out health insurance for the following people without their permission:

  • your children under the age of 18;
  • anyone placed under your guardianship (including financial guardianship) or tutorship.

In other cases you must have a written declaration from the person you wish to insure. If that person is unable to give permission, you can act as his or her attorney and sign the application yourself.

Right to health care not dependent on your behaviour

Everyone has a right to essential medical care, even if their condition is caused by an unhealthy or reckless lifestyle.