Health insurance for foreign students in the Netherlands

Are you going to study at a university or school as a foreign student in the Netherlands? Whether you will need to take out Dutch health insurance during your study in the Netherlands depends on various factors, such as:

  • How long will you stay in the Netherlands?
  • Will you just be studying, or will you also be working?
  • Do you have insurance in your home country?

Please read the article below to find out more.

Is Dutch health insurance compulsory for international students in the Netherlands?

When is Dutch health insurance compulsory for a foreign student and when is it not? This all depends on your personal situation:

1. International students staying temporarily

Dutch health insurance is compulsory when the Dutch government considers you a resident of the Netherlands. This means that, in general, international students are not obliged to take out Dutch health insurance, since their stay in the Netherlands is only temporary.

2. Working in the Netherlands during your studies

Once you start working in the Netherlands during your studies, whether you have taken on a small part-time job, or you are doing a paid internship or volunteer work for which you are getting an allowance, you will likely be insured under the Dutch Wlz scheme (the Long-term Care Act). This means you will be obligated to take out Dutch health insurance. Please note, a zero-hour contract also counts as a job!

SVB assessment

If you are not sure whether you are insured under the Wlz scheme, you can request an assessment, free of charge, on the website of the Sociale Verzekeringsbank.

Will your home country’s health insurance cover you during your stay?

For a foreign student in the Netherlands this will depend on whether you are from the European Union, EEA and Switzerland, or not.

If you are from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, and you are planning to study in the Netherlands, you can apply for the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). This card is issued free of charge and with it, you will be able to get free or discounted medical care across Europe.

Please note that the EHIC is not a replacement for travel insurance, as it does not cover such things as the flight home after sustaining serious injuries or illnesses. It also does not cover private healthcare and (most) planned treatments. In most cases you will still need a special student health insurance.

How to apply for the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)?

If you are currently paying towards or covered by your country’s social security system, you might be eligible to apply for the EHIC. How to apply for it differs per country. Click here to find out more about your country’s EHIC application process.

If you are from a non-EU / EEA country, and you are not working (part-time) or doing an internship in the Netherlands during your studies, unfortunately you can not take out Dutch public health insurance. Your best option is signing up for a private health insurance.

Recommended healthcare insurance providers for international students in the Netherlands

If you are interested in taking out student health insurance, you will be happy to know that various insurance companies offer special packages for international and foreign students in the Netherlands. Recommended international health insurance providers for foreign students in the Netherlands are:

More information or an appointment?

Would you like to discuss your health issue(s) with a doctor or therapist? Just book a consultation at HelloDoc Health! We are specialised in providing primary care, mental health and additional health services in 10+ languages to foreign students across Europe.

We are here to help you!

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