Learn About The Healthcare System & Insurance Options for Expats in the Netherlands
The Netherlands is home to the most exotic villages and towns. With a vast assortment of amusement parks, museums, and miniature cities, the Netherlands attracts expats every year. One of the key benefits of living in the Netherlands is its advanced healthcare system. It is, which is among the best in Europe. In the Netherlands, the government manages, and the private insurance companies supplement the healthcare system. Here’s what you need to know about the healthcare system in the Netherlands and insurance options for expats.
Health insurance is mandatory for all the people who live and work in the Netherlands. Expats from Switzerland, the European Union (EU), and the EEA (European Economic Area) must obtain the Dutch health insurance within the first four months of receiving their residence permit. Permanent residents in the Netherlands must get health insurance coverage to access medical services. However, Dutch residents, expats, and travelers often choose international health insurance, which is comprehensive and cost-effective and provides health cover all across the world.
The CDC has more information on vaccinations you need to get before traveling to the Netherlands.
Overview of Healthcare in the Netherlands
When it comes to healthcare, the Netherlands is ranked number two on the 2018 Euro Health Consumer Index. The Netherlands is the only country that has been ranked in the top three since 2005. In 2018, it was replaced by Switzerland, which had skilled medical service providers in pediatric psychiatry and mental healthcare. All residents and expats in the Netherlands have access to healthcare services only if they have health insurance. As healthcare services are expensive in the Netherlands, the public health insurance does not cover all the treatments. As such, expats resort to healthcare insurance policies to get access to standard healthcare facilities during emergencies.
How the Dutch Healthcare System Works for Expats
If you are an expat in the Netherlands, it’s mandatory to register for healthcare. For this, you first need to obtain a Citizen Service Number or Burgerservicenummer (BSN) and apply for this at the local municipal office. Then, you need to provide your passport or ID, address proof, a letter from the employer, and your BSN. Finally, you can register yourself with a local doctor.
Public Healthcare in the Netherlands
Health insurance premiums fund public healthcare in the Netherlands. Also, your employer must pay a percentage of your salary for health insurance. Though a health insurance policy entitles you to free medical treatment, it does not cover medical facilities such as physiotherapy, dental care for adults, and specialist therapy. Thus, for severe health issues, we advise you to obtain a private insurance policy.
Private Healthcare in the Netherlands
As essential healthcare services are available through the state insurance system, expats who wish to access healthcare services for severe health issues must obtain private health insurance. Such private insurance policies not only cover treatment for severe health issues but also provide private rooms during hospital stays.
Emergency Medical Services in the Netherlands
There are two categories of emergency service providers:
- In case of an emergency, responders can administer first aid services and mostly consist of police officers.
- The other category of emergency service providers consists of hospital care providers. Also, the Dutch ambulance crew is different from service providers in other countries. Each ambulance has two members who are professional in dealing with medical issues, procedures, and performance.
Medicines and Pharmacies
Apart from registering with a local medical practitioner, you’ll need to register with a local pharmacy. Though it’s possible to purchase drugs from other pharmacies, it’s best to register yourself with a local pharmacy. Then, your doctor can directly email your prescription to the pharmacy. Some pharmacies also deliver medicines to your doorstep. Also, if your pharmacy is under an insurance scheme, you don’t have to pay money directly for the medication.
International Medical Insurance Plans for Expats in the Netherlands
Digital nomads, global citizens, and expats who are living in or moving to the Netherlands can get an all-inclusive international health insurance plan that covers medical expenses and evacuation in case of an emergency. Out of the multiple medical insurance plans, those offered by Cigna Global and Allianz International are accepted by healthcare institutions in the Netherlands.