Studying and health insurance in Holland

Anyone residing in Holland is legally required to take out a public Dutch basic health insurance. For international students there are however some exceptions.

Study purposes only

You are not allowed to take out a public Dutch health insurance if you are in Holland for study purposes only. You can stay insured with the health insurer in your home country or take out a private international health insurance. Some insurance companies will give you a student discount. Ask your school for advice or contact the ‘Zorgverzekeringslijn’.

If you are from the EU/EEA you may be eligible to receive a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) which covers your necessary medical costs during your stay. Treatments and rates vary by country, so make sure you check the information on the EU website before you leave.

Received a letter from CAK?

You might receive a letter from the CAK about your insurance obligation. You need to take action within 3 months or you will receive a fine of approximately €380. Even if you incorrectly received the letter from the CAK.

  1. It is important to contact the Sociale Verzekeringsbank (SVB) to ask for an assessment of your insurance situation under the Wlz scheme (free of charge).
  2. Send a copy of the decision from the SVB about your insurance situation to the CAK.

Internship during your studies

You might need to take out a public Dutch health insurance if you are planning to do a paid internship. Therefore, it is important to contact the SVB to request an assessment of your insurance situation under the Wlz scheme (free of charge).

Working alongside your studies

If you have a (part-time) job you are required to have public Dutch health insurance. How do you do this?

This basic health insurance covers hospital treatment (among other things).

  1. You must be registered with a local council before you can take out the health insurance.
  2. Choose your health insurance from one of the public Dutch health insurers. Fill out the application form and send it to the health insurer.
  3. The registration is complete once you have received an insurance policy (in Dutch: polisblad) and a health insurance card.
  4. You can apply for health care benefit (in Dutch: zorgtoeslag) via
  5. Cancel your insurance when your internship ends, when you stop working or when you leave the Netherlands. Don’t forget to deregister from your municipality.
  6. You need to take out a public Dutch health insurance if you stay after your studies and/or the Orientation Year and as soon as you start working. 

You can contact Zorgverzekeringslijn for any questions about the public Dutch healthcare insurance. Visit or (if you are in Holland) call toll-free on number 0800 64 64 644 (weekdays 09.00 – 17.00 hrs). From abroad you can call +31 88 900 6960 (not toll-free).


You can find all the information you need about health insurance and study or work (internship) in the Netherlands in this flyer:

Flyer Health Insurance Information international students

What to do if you fall ill?

If you are not feeling well or have complaints you must first go and see your general practioner (GP), or in Dutch huisarts. The GP decides whether to send you to see a specialist and, if necessary, send you to a hospital. If you need medicines, you will receive a prescription from the GP. With the prescription you can collect the medicine at a local pharmacy (apotheek).


In case of an accident or other emergency situation, call 112 for an ambulance.

last modified Oct 10, 2019 04:10 PM