When do I need to take out health insurance if I come to live in the Netherlands?

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. Even if you already have health insurance in another country.

Compulsory health insurance: start of coverage

Health insurance is compulsory from the time you register with a Dutch municipality or start working for a Dutch employer. You have 4 months to take out health insurance. In the meantime, you will be covered under the standard health insurance package.

If you take out insurance within 4 months, you will have to pay premiums afterwards for those first months you were covered.

Taking out health insurance after 4 months

If you only take out health insurance after 4 months, you will only pay premiums from that point onwards. You will not have to pay any premiums retroactively. But you will also not be reimbursed for any care you received in the period before you took out your insurance.

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.

Health insurance for foreign students

If you are a student from outside the Netherlands, you will usually already have health insurance that you took out in your own country. Sometimes, however, you are required to take out health insurance in the Netherlands. 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.

Foreign health insurance

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, you only need your insurance in the country you came from. Certain rules do apply, however. The Social Insurance Bank (SVB) can provide more information on working for an employer based outside the Netherlands.

Foreign health insurance for EU civil servants

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 solve this by providing proof of insurance.

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 will receive it from the time you are obliged to take out health insurance. You can calculate your healthcare benefit yourself on Toeslagen.nl (in Dutch).