Health insurance system
Dutch health insurance system
The basic principle of our healthcare system is that healthy people contribute to the medical costs of those who are ill. Healthy people pay as much premium as the chronically ill or the elderly, while in comparison their doctor's visits are less frequent. This is how we all stay well insured against medical costs.
Under the Health Insurance Act ( Zorgverzekeringswet) all residents of the Netherlands have to take out healthcare insurance. This insurance covers standard medical costs such as general practitioners ( G'Ps), hospitals or pharmaceutical costs. Each year the government determines what is covered by the national healthcare scheme. Even the insurance companies have a duty: the so-called open enrollment. They have to accept everybody who applies for national healthcare insurance regardless of their age or their state of health.
Everyone in The Netherlands is now legally required to hold the same basic health insurance package, although this can be supplemented by additional optional packages. In general, the legal obligation to have the basic medical insurance package applies to all residents of The Netherlands, regardless of nationality, unless they have a temporary residence permit or student permit. However, foreign students and people staying temporarily in The Netherlands are required to hold some form of health insurance as a condition of entry. The coverage provided by the basic insurance package is subject to ongoing review and change by the government. It generally includes most general costs, but does not currently cover the cost of dental treatment for adults, some maternity and post-natal care and the full costs of physiotherapy. Children under the age of 18 are automatically covered by their parents' basic health insurance package and receive coverage for most dental care.
Individuals can buy their basic insurance policy from any of a number of insurance companies (zorgverzekeraars) who all legally have to offer the same basic package, and who all offer additional supllementary cover at higher costs. The annual premium for the basic cover is in the region of euro 1500,- to 1600,-, and a tax allowance is available to compensate this for people on low incomes.
Health care remains expensive despite the premium and income-related contribution. For that reason the national healthcare has an excess. The government determines each year the excess. For 2018 amounts to € 385.
Cost of a visit to the GP
The fee for the GP consists of 2 elements of which the cost is set by the Dutch government:
- quarterly fixed fee consisting of several modules
- fixed fee per consultation/telephone call/house call
If you dont have a dutch health insurance package these fees will be invoiced to the client.