medical insurance

My son is now established in the Netherlands, has his BSN, just started working as a computer games developer. A sort of student internship. He's there for a year.

He's on a low salary but, nevertheless, I understand he is obliged to get himself some medical insurance.

We believe he must choose a provider, select the options for the cover he wants then sign up.

Looking round it all seems very costly and will eat into his salary bigtime.

I see that Cigna on this site offer to provide a quote but we'd rather ask here first for real personal experiences.

Is there a cheap, basic provider that's popular with people? At least to get him started?

In case it's of any relevance he's in the Schiphol/Aalsmeer area.

Any suggestions gratefully appreciated with any links to recommended sites/providers.

Thank you once again for your input.

Hi and welcome to the Forum.

Health Insurance is compulsory in Holland and your son has 4 months in which to sort this; however, don't look at that as a possible cost-saving, he will be charged from the day he registered at the Gemeente (BSN).

His first question should be to his employer as they normally offer a subsidised scheme for all workers.

Should there not be a workplace scheme, then I would recommend checking out this on-line cost-comparison website; this link will take you there.

Hope this helps.

Expat Team

Thanks for that. His employer doesn't have a workplace scheme which is why we are looking at getting cover for him personally.

His employer has intimated that they may give him a salary rise if the cost proves too much for him to bear.

Thanks too for the link. Will investigate.

taxplanner :

Thanks for that. His employer doesn't have a workplace scheme which is why we are looking at getting cover for him personally.

His employer has intimated that they may give him a salary rise if the cost proves too much for him to bear.

Thanks too for the link. Will investigate.

I'm not 100% sure, but I don't think you can do that.  Health Insurance is part of the Dutch National Social Security legislation and is discounted by the Dutch Government, but that's related to salary and tied to an individuals BSN and Bank account.  If you're not happy doing it this way, then you can contact the Sociale Verzekeringsbank (link here) and ask them if it's OK for you to pay for your son; it will be them chasing him later on.

How the Dutch system works is that there are 2 elements of the costs, the monthly "premie", plus an amount agreed as being "own risk" (eigen risico) that the policyholder pays as and when he uses the system; things like prescriptions have to be paid for and will be the cheapest medicine that will effectively treat the problem - there is an agreed list issued by the Dutch Government; if you want something different, it's up to the patient to pay for it and the Insurance won't cover it.

If he's only there for a year, it won't interest him to know that every November, he should shop around for a cheaper option.

Hope this helps.

Expat Team

Sorry if I confused things, Cynic, but we are not going to pay for him. Yes, we are helping with the research but we're not paying. He's going to pay from his own Dutch bank account. That's why his employer may help him out with a pay increase.

We saw that there are two parts to the system looks like the first 385 Euros is the standard "excess" that the policyholder has to pay first before the insurance policy pays out.

Also we see that the basic medical cover does not include dental work so that will need to be added. More cost.

Yes, we also got that November is the renewal/change date.

Thanks for all your help. Much appreciated. If you have any other thoughts or advice do let me know.

Yeah, 385 is the standard excess and even when you reach it, you still have to pay for prescriptions and non-covered treatment, but at that point, you can send the receipt(s) to your insurance company and you'll get a refund.  If your son is sporty but tends to pick up injuries, it's worthwhile including physio in your basis packet.

Please come back to us if you (or your son) have any further specific questions.

I wish your son the best of luck in his Dutch adventure. :)

Expat Team it. No chance. Only his swimming. He's a programmer and games his desk all the time. Yes, I know that's not good but us parents try our best to set offspring on the right path. We tried and sporty? I don't think so!

If your son has a "verblijfsvergunning" he can get a part of his scheme back monthly. Mostly it's around 57 euros monthly that you will get back, it is called zorgtoeslag in Dutch.
I can recommend VGZ or FBTO both are good and popular in the Netherlands and have a lot of benefits. VGZ English
It's also recommeded to choose for a "in natura" basisverzekering.

Thanks but I don't think he has - or is required to have - a "residence permit". He has his BSN.

Or am I misunderstanding?

No as a EU-member he doesn't get money back from the government, I know it seems a lot of money when you have a modest salary. The only thing your son can do is ask to his employer to raise his salary.

The 385 euros is something he only has to pay when he is in need of our healthcare system. When you don't use it you don't have to pay it.

Our healthcare system is always discussed and a big issue in politics, but I still think we have a great system.

At long last son has finally looked into this. He thinks he wants to go for a basic VGZ plan. This is the volume he has been given....


It's huge and confusing.

He wants a basic plan with, perhaps, 10Euros for dental protection.

Is this the plan he needs or should he be looking for something else?

Thanks for your help.

Hi and welcome back.

VGZ is one of the Medical Insurance suppliers in the Netherlands; in the link, I gave you in response to your opening post, they are the cheapest.  The link you gave us is a PDF with all the T&C's in it (in English), your son should read it.

Now he's living in Holland, he is no longer entitled to NHS cover in the UK; he'll be issued with a Dutch E111 EHIC by his Insurer to use when he's back home; it's only valid for emergency care.

Hope this helps.

Expa Team

Thanks Cynic. Most helpful.

Yes, I recall the earlier recommendations to VGZ. I passed it to my son for that very reason.

I think he's going to go with this plan.

I'll also pass on what you advise about the E111 EHIC.

Hi again

Is anyone here familiar with Loonzorg? They seem to be offering cheaper policies than VGZ.

They seem to be some sort of intermediary for the health Insurance policies of HollandZorg and CZ.

Should my son be looking for cheaper cover there?

I've never heard of them, but that doesn't mean much.  They don't appear on the list of approved Insurance companies, so they must be a service supplier, someone who goes around getting the product from the Insurance companies.  Google tells me some stuff about them and none of it seems negative, so I just phoned my daughter in Holland and asked her, she'd never heard of them and that's a bit strange because everyone gets lots of Insurance information at this time of year.

So, they seem to be another supplier of Health Insurance services in the Netherlands, just like the Zorgverzekering Informatie Centrum.

Thanks for your input again Cynic.

Yes, as I mentioned earlier, Loonzorg seem to be some sort of service suppler/intermediary for the health Insurance policies of HollandZorg and CZ.

We found them here .... … -insurance

They claim to be "specialist" in looking after people who are only in The Netherlands temporarily (as my son is) although, having been an intermediary myself in a past life, I know how intermediaries often work. Sometimes claiming to be experts in fields where "expertise" is not necessary and often paid by commission so can be pushy (although not always).

Anyway I'm leaving my son to look into this further. i think he likes them because "everything is in English" as he puts it.

If you or your daughter have any other tips or advice it would be very much appreciated.

Thank you again (both) for all your help. It has proved invaluable.

Yeah - they appear to be what we would describe as a 3rd party service supplier; someone somewhere is paying them something to provide this service and it will almost certainly be your son.  Having read it, it looks like they offer just the "basispakket", so the bare legal coverage, so probably don't include the things that people who actually live their lives long-term in Holland would need (i.e. maternity cover).  That said, I'm not certain because my BSN is no longer active (I live in the UK at the moment), so I can't log in to their site and follow the process.  It's certainly worth your son shopping around, although as he's no intention of staying in Holland, for the few euro he may save, it may not be worth the hassle. he's no intention of staying in Holland, for the few euro he may save, it may not be worth the hassle.

Our thoughts too. His deadline approaches (why do they always leave things to the last minute??!!) and we think it's important for him to register for something, somewhere, to get the ball rolling.

Then he can register with whichever doctor and dentist he chooses (those are the only two elements he wants because, as you rightly point out, he's not staying long term so doesn't need other bells & whistles).

Thanks again. Always nice to talk to you.

Best wishes.

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