AWBZ - Exceptional Medical Expenses Act
The Exceptional Medical Expenses Act (AWBZ) sets out which facilities you are entitled to within the context of medical care. You are entitled to these facilities if you are unable to carry out these activities yourself as a result of your disability. The AWBZ relates to ‘facilities with regard to maintenance, recovery or the promotion of fitness for work, or to improve the individual’s quality of life, as well as social services’.
AWBZ contributions cover compulsory insurance for everyone who lives or works in the Netherlands against medical expenses that are not covered via your insurance policy. All Dutch citizens automatically pay an AWBZ premium. Your healthcare insurer is responsible for implementing the AWBZ.
Facilities within the context of the AWBZ
Via the AWBZ, all Dutch citizens are insured for care and support in the event of long-term illness, disability or old age. The AWBZ distinguishes between five functions:
- Personal care, including assistance with showering, getting dressed and going to the toilet
- Nursing, for example wound care, the administration of injections and medicines
- Supportive counselling, such as assistance in learning to look after your own household
- Residence, for example temporary or permanent residence in a nursing home or care home
- Treatment, for example treatment during recovery from an operation or disorder
How do I become eligible for AWBZ facilities?
To take advantage of the AWBZ provisions/facilities, you must apply to the Care Assessment Centre (CIZ). This organisation assesses the extent to which you are eligible for an AWBZ facility by examining the situation with regard to your health and residential and living arrangements in collaboration with you. The CIZ will look at what you can do yourself and, where appropriate, what people that you live with can do. This is referred to as habitual care. You will not be eligible for compensation for this type of care under the AWBZ. You must follow a procedure to apply for an AWBZ facility.