Health insurance in The Netherlands

Planning to move to The Netherlands? Of course housing is one of the most important things to take care of first but don’t forget about insurance!

Health insurance is mandatory

When working in The Netherlands, having a Dutch health insurance is actually required by law. In any situation where you receive an income – even from part-time jobs or an internship allowance you’ll need to take out Dutch health insurance. Not complying might get you in trouble with the law since it’s illegal not to have health insurance.

Unfortunately, the whole system is quite a complicated one. The Netherlands has a privatized healthcare system as one of the few countries in Europe. This means that insurance companies are commercial companies. The choice in insurances is large and which might make it all a bit confusing.

Fortunately, the Dutch comparison website also offers an English version of its health insurance comparison: On the site you’ll find an abundance of information on the Dutch healthcare system.

Healthcare in The Netherlands

The Dutch healthcare system is often ranked in the top-10 best healthcare systems in the world. In a recent study by the American Commonwealth Fund The Netherlands ranked fifth best in the world. All medical professionals speak English quite well, so you’ll have no trouble when communicating with a doctor in English.


If you are insured with a basic insurance under the Dutch healthcare system (‘basisverzekering’), you don’t need a referral from your General practitioner (GP) to visit a physiotherapist. Most physiotherapists have good command of the English language, as a lot of study material is in English.