In the Netherlands, the government is responsible for the accessibility and quality of the healthcare but not in its management. Additionally, like the rest of Europe, aspects of the Dutch healthcare system is socialized. This means part of of your salary is withheld for tax purposes that contribute to the system.
In general, everyone living in the Netherlands that is 18 years old and over needs to legally have some type of health insurance coverage. When moving to the Netherlands you are given up to four months from arrival to get your health insurance coverage setup.
All insurance providers offer a universal standard insurance package that has been pre-approved by the government. Of course, because insurance providers are private health plans you can optimize and add more coverage or perks to the plan. In the Netherlands you have two types of health insurance:
- Compulsory basic insurance (basisverzekering)
- Optional additional insurance (aanvullende verzekering)
It’s important for all internationals to know that if you are not covered by Dutch health insurance after your first four months in the Netherlands, you risk being fined and billed retroactively for the months you were not insured.
Once you do have your health insurance you can then begin the process of finding your general practitioner (GP) which is your gateway to accessing specialized care, prescriptions, and other medical needs.