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Dutch health insurance explained | Apply now

Medische Zorg

Laatste update op 27 oktober 2021 – 09:38 door Daan.

It doesn’t matter if you’ve lived in the Netherlands for a few years, or if you’ve just moved here: the Dutch health insurance system can be quite confusing. Different types of basic insurance, countless supplementary insurances, deductibles and collective discounts. Do you struggle to figure everything out? That’s where ZorgKiezer comes in! It is our goal to help you find the right health insurance.

Are you looking for a health insurance for 2021? Feel free to skip ahead!

Everyone who is officially registered in the Netherlands, is obligated to have a Dutch basic health insurance. Once you are registered in the Netherlands, it is mandatory to sign up for a Dutch health insurance within three months. If you do not apply for an insurance within the first three months you risk receiving a fine. The insurance is activated per the date that you are registered with the municipality. The basic health insurance covers a variety of healthcare, such as:

  • Visits with the general practitioner (GP)
  • Hospital care
  • Most medication
  • Maternity care
  • Lab work and blood tests
  • Transport by ambulance
  • Etc.

Health insurance companies frequently have an English version of the exact coverage and the terms and conditions available on their website. If they don’t, you can always contact them or ZorgKiezer for more information.

Mandatory deductible

Although a lot of healthcare is covered by the basic health insurance, it does often come with a mandatory deductible. In 2021 this deductible is 385 euros. This basically means that if you receive healthcare that is covered by the basic health insurance, you have to pay the first 385 euros yourself. Everything over that amount is fully covered by your insurance. For example:

Jack get’s in an accident and breaks his leg. The ambulance brings Jack to the emergency room where they discover the fracture. The doctor takes an x-ray of his leg and Jack receives a cast. After a few weeks Jack returns for a check-up. The total amount billed for the healthcare Jack received is 750 euros. However: Jack only has to pay 385 euros. Everything else is taken care of by the insurance company.

Please note: the deductible is not always charged at once. It can also be divided over several smaller amounts. This is often the case with smaller procedures or medication for example.

Certain types of healthcare are exempt of the deductible, namely:

  • Healthcare for minors
  • Visits with a GP
  • Most prenatal care and maternity care
  • Dental care for minors
  • Programs to quit smoking (once per year)
  • District nursing
  • Check-ups for donors after organ transplants
  • Physical aids provided through district nursing
  • Chain healthcare: a collaborative approach with several healthcare providers.

Minors can benefit from the insurance of their parents or guardians. They don’t have to pay a monthly premium. As soon as they turn eighteen they will have to pay a monthly premium. A few weeks before their eighteenth birthday they will receive a proposition from the health insurance company. They can accept this, or they can decide to switch to a different insurance company that is more suitable for them.

Voluntary deductible

You are probably thinking: why would anyone ever pay a voluntary deductible? Well, increasing your deductible gives you a discount on your monthly premium. This can be a financial benefit for those who don’t usually need any healthcare. You can increase your deductible with a maximum of 500 euros. This would lead to a total deductible of 885 euros.

Please note: If you choose the maximum deductible, you will pay a lower monthly premium. However, if you do need medical care you have to be able to pay that deductible of 885 euros. Please take that in consideration when applying for an insurance.

Different types of basic health insurance

The coverage of the basic health insurance is largely decided on a national level. There may be minor differences between the different health insurance companies, but in general they all provide the same coverage and service. In the Netherlands we have four varieties of the basic health insurance. namely:

  1. Restitution policy (resitutiepolis)
  2. Combination policy (combinatiepolis)
  3. Policy in kind (naturapolis)
  4. Budget policy (budgetpolis)

They each provide the same healthcare. However, some provide full coverage for every health care provider, whereas others only give you a full reimbursement for certain hospitals. Let’s look into that:


This type of basic health insurance is the most comprehensive. It provides full reimbursement with every qualified health care provider. This means you can go to your local hospital or to a specialized clinic based on your own preference. Because this insurance provides the most comprehensive reimbursement, it is usually also the most expensive.


The combinatiepolis provides the same coverage as the restitutiepolis for most types of healthcare. There are some exceptions however. Psychological healthcare is a common one: this type of healthcare is usually quite expensive. Therefore it is limited to a maximum reimbursement.

  • If you visit a contracted healthcare provider, you will always receive a full reimbursement.
  • If you visit a healthcare provider that is not contracted, you will receive a percentage of the contracted reimbursement. This percentage differs per insurance company.


With a naturapolis you only receive full reimbursement if you go to a contracted healthcare provider. If you visit a healthcare provider that is not contracted, you will receive a percentage of the contracted reimbursement. This percentage differs per insurance company.


Lastly we have the budget policy. A budgetpolis works the same way as the naturapolis. The difference is in the number of contracted healthcare providers. As a result this type of insurance is usually the most affordable, but also the most limited.

You may also be interested in the following article:

Health insurance in the Netherlands | For international students


Supplementary insurance

Not all types of healthcare are included in the basic health insurance. Therefore it is possible to add a supplementary insurance for additional coverage. This can include things like:

  • Physical therapy
  • Dental care
  • Orthodontic care
  • Alternative medicine
  • Orthopedic care
  • Etc.

Minors can benefit from the supplementary insurance of their parents or guardians if  they are registered on the same policy. For example:

David has a twelve year old daughter named Anna. Anna needs braces. David has a supplementary insurance that covers orthodontic care for minors. Since Anna is registered on the same policy as David her braces are covered by David’s insurance.

Finding the right insurance

At ZorgKiezer we make it our goal to simplify your health insurance. With our easy tool you can compare all available health insurances based on:

  • The care that you need
  • Your monthly premium
  • Customer reviews

What do you have to do?

  1. You go to 
  2. You fill out your zipcode and date of birth. This enables us to show you the contracted healthcare providers in your area and the correct premium. (Some insurance companies work with an age-based premium).
  3. You select the healthcare that you (expect to) need
  4. We give you a list with the best options based on your wishes.

It’s as easy as that! Simply select the insurance you want and we will make sure that you receive a confirmation and a policy document. If you already have a health insurance in the Netherlands, we will make sure this one gets cancelled per the first of January as explained below.

Health insurance 2021

Every year on the 12th of November all Dutch health insurance companies have to announce their premiums, terms and conditions for the following year. Following this announcement everyone with a Dutch health insurance can switch to a new insurance company until the 1st of January.

Do you have a Dutch health insurance, but are you unsatisfied with the premium, or the coverage of your policy? Go to and find your health insurance for 2021.

Select your preferred coverage and find the best policy. Do you have questions or do you need some help translating? Our health insurance experts are happy to help!

About ZorgKiezer

ZorgKiezer is part of the DGN Group. The DGN Group provides advice and assistance in financial services.

ZorgKiezer has more than 15 years of experience in the world of health insurances. We like to use our knowledge and experience to help you understand the Dutch health care system. We gladly assist you in finding the insurance that you need.

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