Dutch Health Care
In this section everything about the dutch health care system is explained. The information can be overwhelming, but before you go into the details, it is good to know the basic idea:
You need to register with a general practitioner (GP) (in dutch: Huisarts) before you can visit a doctor. The TU/e suggests AON insurance. AON insurance is one that NON EU-students who have no part-time job can get for a good deal. EU citizens can use their own country's insurance, as it is valid within the EU (but do check the limitations of your own insurance and check with Education and Student Affairs (ESA) if you have to apply for AON insurance also). By taking out the ICS complete AON insurance package (the one given from the TU/e), almost all practitioners can be consulted for free with exceptions such as the orthopedist, dermatologist and dentist. After you receive the Insurance form from ESA, it is mandatory to register your name in the TU/e for the Huisarts.
If you become ill and you have not registered with a GP, you cannot visit a doctor before you have been registered. Some GPs are full and decline to accept more patients. If you need a specialist, you first have to go to the GP and get a reference from them to the specialist. To go to the hospital for some special case, you also need a reference from you GP. This means you really need your GP for (nearly) any health service. In emergencies you can visit the emergency room; just make sure you have your insurance card (or papers) with you and your ID.
To register with a GP you have to have health insurance, as they will ask for this. They also will ask for your "Burger Service Nummer" (BSN) which is your "citizen service number". More about this in BSN. Insurances differ depending on if you are working or only studying, about which more can be read in the later sections of this page.
General emergency number: 112
- Call this in case you need the police or there is a medical emergency
If you need the police but it is not an emergency: 0 900 8844
- Crimes can be reported also online.
General Practitioner: Huisarts
When you arrive in the Netherlands, you will receive a BSN (burger service nummer) and you need to get a health insurance unless the one you already have is applicable. You will need these in order to register for a GP (dutch: Huisarts", meaning: "home doctor"). You need to be registered to a GP in order to visit a doctor. Some GP's can be full and will decline having more patients, but this is rare.
In case you need a specialist doctor, you first have to go to your GP who will evaluate if you need a specialist. If so, they will give you a reference which you can take with you to the specialist.
You have to make an appointment before going to the doctor. This is usually done online.
How to register for a General Practitioner
You mostly can (and have to) register online via their website. You usually have to finalize the registration at the GP.
Where to register for a General Practitioner
Dutch people are good in English, so you do not need to worry about the language when choosing your GP (huisarts) location. The easiest way is to have a look on Google Maps or search "Huisarts Eindhoven", or "General practitioner Eindhoven" and check the ones closest to your (future) home.
If you need a vaccination for travelling to another country, you need to make a reservation for GGD. Your GP is not the one who gives travel vaccinations. You need your BSN and ID when going to your appointment. Appointments are done on the GGD website.
They are usually good enough in English, so you do not need to worry about the language when choosing your dentist. You need to register with a dentist (dutch: tandarts, meaning "tooth doctor") before you can make appointments. This is done online, and to find a dentist you can google search "tandarts/dentist Eindhoven".
Dentist can be under your insurance, but check this beforehand. Dutch people usually go every 6 months to the dentist.
You can reserve a time for a basic check up. In case you have a cavity, or any other complication, you usually have to make another appointment for fixing it.
Have your insurance card (or paper), BSN number and ID with you.
If you need expertise that is offered in hospitals, you usually have to get a reference from your GP (Huisarts). However, if you have an emergency, you can go to the emergency section in the Hospital.
There is one important thing that you have to keep in mind though. If you have a Dutch Basic Health Insurance (more information about this here), your insurance company has different contracts with hospitals. Hospitals and insurance companies make deals with each other. Some insurance companies do not have deals with all hospitals in the Netherlands or Eindhoven. This means that if you go to a hospital which does NOT have a deal with your insurance company, you are not insured there. To prevent this from happening, make sure to consult the insurance company you are planning to be with for Dutch Basic Health Insurance if they cover all hospitals in Eindhoven. If you have insurance from your own country (EU only), then you can go to any hospital and you are insured.
In general, with Dutch Basic Health Insurance, as well as the AON student insurance, you do not have to pay out of pocket for basic care, including but not limited to: ambulance rides, overnight stay in the hospital where there is no other option, and emergency treatment.
A lot of useful information with greater detail and up to date information, visit this site. It gives good information of all health insurance related topics.
There are several different insurance options. Firstly, if you have an insurance that is valid in the Netherlands already, there usually is no need to get another insurance. These are typically the insurance you had in your home country if you lived in EU.
If you are a full time student who does not work on the side, you can apply for the AON insurance that TU/e usually offers. AON insurance prices differ according to what all is included in the insurance package. AON is a private insurance company.
Lastly, for those who study and work at the same time, you might have to apply for Dutch Basic Health Insurance. This can apply even if you already have an insurance from another country! Check this site for more information. If the law thinks you need Dutch Basic Health Insurance and you did/do not have it during your working period, you will have to pay a fee. The fee grows with the time you failed to have Dutch Basic Health Insurance. It is sometimes unclear if you need this insurance for a short work period, but to be safe it can be taken. With Dutch Basic Health Insurance, you can request money back, which is called "Zorgtoeslag" (explained later).
If you do not have any insurance, it violates the law. If that is found out you have to pay a fee and you will be forced to get an insurance.
Dutch Basic Health Insurance typically costs around €90-120 a month, depending on your contract. As this is a lot of money for a poor student, the Dutch Government offers a healthcare allowance "Zorgtoeslag" of around €80-90 at max per month. This covers nearly all of your insurance costs. There are rules for who can apply for this Zorgtoeslag. More details about Zorgotoeslag can be found here.
To be eligible for 'zorgtoeslag' you must meet the following requirements :
- You are obliged to take out a basic healthcare insurance in the Netherlands
- You need to have a citizen service number (Burger Service Nummer (BSN))
- You need to have the Dutch nationality or residence permit (If you don’t have a residence permit you can contact the Dutch immigration authorities (IND))
- You must be 18 years or older;
- Your income can’t be higher than € 27.012 a year.
- If you apply online for Zorgtoeslag: you need DigiD. This you receive/make when you arrive to the Netherlands.
Check the Health insurance website for more information.
To apply for Zorgtoeslag: Visit the Dutch Government webiste: https://www.belastingdienst.nl/wps/wcm/connect/bldcontentnl/belastingdienst/prive/toeslagen/zorgtoeslag/ Application forms online are all in dutch, but google translate or some dutch friend can easily walk through it. The application does not take more than 5-10 minutes. You will need DigiD to apply.