Health Insurance in the Netherlands

Entitled to basic insurance
Everyone who is entitled to AWBZ is obliged to arrange a basic health insurance. You are entitled to AWBZ if you are a resident of the Netherlands and/or are employed in the Netherlands. Being a resident in this context means: you live in the Netherlands and, if you are a foreigner, you have a residence permit. Being employed means: you have an employment contract and receive a salary in the Netherlands.


Whether a person (who does not receive a salary, but is a resident) in the Netherlands is obliged to have a basic health insurance depends on whether the person intends to reside temporarily or long-term in the Netherlands. In general, a stay of up to one year is regarded as temporary.

Temporary and long-term

Researchers who are under the age of 30 are NOT required to have a basic health insurance if they are taking a doctorate without receiving any kind of salary. Researchers ARE obliged to have a basic health insurance if they receive a salary.

For researchers who do not receive a salary and who do not belong to the category of grant-funded PhD candidates younger than 30, the criterium for compulsory health insurance is whether they are regarded as TEMPORARY or LONG-TERM residents.

In order to determine whether a person is residing temporarily or long-term in the Netherlands, it is not the residence permit, but the actual conditions of their stay which are taken into account. A person is considered to be a long-term resident of the Netherlands if the country is the principal focus of his or her social life (legally, economically and socially).


In the event of non-compliance with the obligation to have a basic health insurance, the insurance premium must be paid retrospectively and a penalty of 30% of this sum may be levied.

An employee who is not obliged to have a basic health insurance and who is not covered by the EU healthcard must arrange a private health insurance.

Coverage by home insurance
>Firstly, it is important to find out whether it is compulsory for you to obtain Dutch public health insurance. If this is not the case, it is worth finding out whether you are sufficiently insured for basic medical care through your existing insurance policy in your home country.

Health insurance | Compare and close

At Independer, you can make an online comparison to close the best health insurance for your personal needs. Here, you will also find more information about the Dutch health care system, and other types of Dutch insurances, and the latest news and reviews.

At their customer service centre, English speaking health-experts are available to further inform you about health insurance in the Netherlands and, if you want it, help you with your application. Feel free to contact the Independer customer service centre on +31(0)35 626 55 44.