I am coming to live or work in the Netherlands. When do I need to take out compulsory health insurance?

If you come to live or work in the Netherlands you need to take out Dutch health insurance as quickly as possible. And no later than 4 months after arriving. You must do this even if you already have a medical insurance policy in another country.

The rules on insurance for medical expenses are different for asylum seekers (in Dutch). 

Compulsory health insurance: start of coverage

If you come to live or work in the Netherlands, you are required to take out a health insurance policy with a Dutch insurer with coverage from the day you arrive. You have 4 months to take out the health insurance policy. You must also register with a Dutch municipality.

Taking out health insurance after 4 months

If you take out health insurance after 4 months, then you will not be insured retroactively. You will only pay premiums from the date on which you take out the health insurance policy. You will not have to pay any premiums retroactively. But you will also not be reimbursed for any care you received in the period between your arrival and the date you took out insurance.

Please note: If you have already registered with a municipality but have not yet taken out health insurance, you will receive a letter about this from the central office for exceptional medical insurance (CAK). The CAK checks that everyone in the Netherlands has health insurance. Don’t wait too long before taking out health insurance, otherwise you may be fined.

Foreign insurance for medical expenses

You are required to take out health insurance with a Dutch insurer. Even if you have health insurance in the country you came from. The only exception is if your employer is outside the Netherlands. In that case, the insurance in the country you came from is enough. Certain rules do apply, however. The Social Insurance Bank (SVB) can provide more information on working for an employer based outside the Netherlands.

Medical insurance for EU civil servants (JSIS)

People who work for an EU institution are not required to take out Dutch health insurance. Instead, they are covered by the Joint Sickness Insurance Scheme (JSIS). In many cases their family members are also covered under this system. Because they do not have Dutch health insurance, they are not always recognised as being insured. They can provide proof of insurance with JSIS to show they are covered for medical expenses.

For more information about the EU Joint Sickness Insurance Scheme (JSIS) visit the European Union website: Joint Sickness Insurance Scheme (JSIS) 

If you do other work in the Netherlands in addition to your job with a European institution, you are required to take out Dutch health insurance.

Health insurance for foreign students

If you are a student from outside the Netherlands, you probably already have insurance for medical expenses that you took out in your own country. In some cases, however, you are required to take out health insurance with a Dutch insurer. How you can do that depends on where you are from and what else you do besides studying. Consult the Nuffic website Studyinholland.nl to see if you’re properly insured.

Calculating and applying for healthcare benefit

Healthcare benefit is a contribution to the costs of health insurance for people on low incomes. If you are entitled to healthcare benefit, you can start receiving it from the time you are obliged to take out health insurance. You can calculate your healthcare benefit yourself on Toeslagen.nl (in Dutch). You can also apply for it on toeslagen.nl.