Healthcare insurance

When studying in Holland, you must have insurance for medical expenses. The type of healthcare insurance you need depends on your personal situation.

There are 3 different types of cover: Dutch public healthcare insurance, an EU Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or private insurance. 

Dutch public healthcare insurance

If you are obliged to take out Dutch public healthcare insurance (zorgverzekering), you are free to buy insurance from any Dutch insurance company. Some insurance companies will give you a student discount. Ask your school for advise or contact The Zorgverzekeringslijn.

It’s very important to note that this type of insurance covers only your medical expenses. If you take out Dutch public health insurance, you may be eligible for compensation for your insurance premium. This compensation is called healthcare benefit or healthcare allowance (zorgtoeslag).

EU Health Insurance Card

You may be eligble to receive a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) which covers your medical costs during your stay in Holland if:

  • You are an EU/EEA or Swiss national studying in Holland, and
  • you are not working or doing an internship here, and
  • you are insured for your medical care through a national health system in your home country (this may differ from the various EU-countries).

Apply for the EHIC in your home country. More information on the EHIC is available on the website of the European Commission.

Private healthcare insurance

You are not allowed to take out a Dutch public healthcare insurance in Holland, as long as you do not work or take up a paid internship in the Netherlands or if you have an EHIC from your home country. In this case, you need to check whether your existing insurance covers your stay in Holland.

If not, you need to take out a new or special insurance policy for your stay in Holland. Please contact the International Office of your higher education institution for advice.

What to do if you fall ill?

If you are not feeling well or have complaints, your first instinct may be to go to the hospital. However, the Dutch healthcare system is regulated differently. You must always 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, a hospital. If you need medicines, you will receive a prescription medicines from the GP and can collect them at a local pharmacy (apotheek).


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

last modified Jul 02, 2018 09:23 AM