Apart from its stunning landscape, its canals, its culture and its relaxed atmosphere, the Netherlands is a perennial favourite of all when it comes to health care benefits given by the government.
The Dutch healthcare system is ranked the second-best in Europe (behind Switzerland) according to the Euro Health Consumer Index. So, this country takes health care of all seriously.
How does the system work?
The Dutch health insurance system is a combination of private health plans with social conditions built on the principles of solidarity, efficiency and value for the patient. Healthcare in the Netherlands is funded through taxation: mandatory health insurance fees and taxation of income. Some points to pay attention to:
If you are from EU: You are obliged to obtain a health insurance in The Netherlands when You have a (part-time) job and/or pay income tax in The Netherlands or you are 30 years or older and your stay in The Netherlands is not temporary.
If you are not from EU: Expats from outside the EU/EEA eligible for a Dutch health insurance if you have a permanent Dutch residence permit. Within 4 months of receiving your residence permit, you must get your basic health insurance.
What happens if I don’t get Dutch Health Insurance?
- If you do not sign up for basic Dutch health insurance within four months and the government discovers you are uninsured, you will receive a letter from the CAK requesting that you do so within three months.
- If you do not obtain health insurance within that time frame, the CAK will levy a fine (426,24 euros in 2021).
- If you still haven’t done anything after six months, you’ll be fined again for the same amount.
- If you haven’t gotten health insurance within nine months of receiving the first letter, the CAK will sign you up with an insurer on your behalf and collect the monthly premium from your pay.
- If you’re unsure if you really need health insurance in the Netherlands, then can approach the Sociale Verzekeringsbank to see if your circumstances need it.
- If you fall ill and do not have (Dutch or international) health insurance that covers treatment in the Netherlands, you will be responsible for all medical expenses.
How to choose a Dutch Health insurance provider
To choose a provider, all you can do is compare the benefits provided by one with the other. When comparing providers, ask the following questions:
- How much is the premium?
- How does the policy work?
- What is the excess?
- Can you take out supplementary insurance for any care or treatment that’s not included in the standard package?
Steps to enroll for health insurance
For getting covered under health insurance, one needs to follow the below steps:
- You have to register with your local municipal body and receive an identification number known as BSN (Burgerservicenumber).
- You have to purchase medical insurance from a private insurer.
- You have to register yourself with primary health provider.
What gets covered under basic health insurance?
Dutch insurance companies are obliged by law to offer you the basic package. They cannot deny coverage because of gender or nationality. As set by the government, the basic health insurance costs around 100 euros per month and covers things such as:
- Appointments with your doctor and doctor prescriptions.
- Stays at the hospital, surgery and emergency treatment
- Ambulance services and patient transport
- Medicine and Blood tests
- Dental care for children under 18 years
- Limited dental care for adults over 18, restricted to dental surgery, dental x-rays
- Mental health care
- Appointments with medical specialists such as dermatologists, allergists or internal specialists
- Pregnancy, birth care, midwifery services and Maternity care
- Handicapped care
- Nursing on location
- Some therapeutic services such as speech therapy, occupational therapy and diet advice
- Physiotherapy for chronic disorders, covered from the 21st treatment onwards.
No One plans of getting ill, but for unavoidable circumstances one must always be ready to tackle those circumstances and getting insured can be fruitful in those cases.
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