Compulsory health insurance

Everyone aged 18 years or older who lives or works in the Netherlands must have health insurance. This is a legal requirement that also applies to students. If you are not insured, the CAK (Dutch National Health Care Institute) can fine you.

Different rules apply for international students. Read more about the Compulsory health insurance for non-Dutch students.
For more information, also check

Compulsory coverage with standard health insurance

A standard health insurance policy insures you against the most common healthcare costs, like a visit to your family doctor. The government decides what basic health insurance covers. It is the same for each insurance company. Insurance companies are required to accept you if you are a resident.

Voluntary additional coverage

If you take out voluntary additional coverage, you will be insured against expenses that are not included in the basic health insurance package. You can take out additional coverage for things such as dental care, physiotherapy or alternative medicine. Insurance companies differ in what they offer. So make sure you choose the additional coverage package that fits your needs and requirements.

Compare various health insurance policies via: (in Dutch) (in Dutch) (in Dutch) (in Dutch)  


Healthcare benefit for low income households

Students insured in the Netherlands can get a ‘health care benefit’ (Dutch ‘zorgtoeslag’), this is a contribution towards the health insurance costs. Whether or not you are eligible for the health care benefit, and how much health care benefit you will receive depends on  your income. The Dutch Tax and Customs Administration have more information about this.

Read more: Health care benefit from Dutch Tax and Customs Administration