Dutch Health Insurance Fine

Alrighty....

I am the American spouse of a Brit and living in the Netherlands. I registered in late October of 2018 and wanted to buy health insurance, but my lawyer said I probably wouldn't be able to get a typical Dutch plan until I had my residence permit - the one that looks sort of like a driver's license.

He then pointed me in the direction of OOM, which sells short term insurance to people who need coverage for a brief period, and I purchased a policy through them to keep myself safe. I then received my residence permit in early January, began a new job shortly thereafter, and went to purchase a proper policy online on 31 January.

Today, I received a letter saying the insurance company needed a copy of my permit to finish my application, so I sent that off (nbd) and a Dutch coworker told me that I also might be billed for insurance going back to when I arrived in October.

Um, this isn't good. I signed up for insurance within four months of arrival and used short term coverage before that. I'm really confused. Will I have to pay for the first few months when I didn't even see a doctor or anything? Is there something I can do to avoid getting hit hard? Really don't have any spare cash to deal with this right now. :(

Sorry for the long explanation and thank you!

Hi again,

I suspect your co-worker is correct; the rules say you must pay into one of the state schemes from the day you arrive in the Netherlands, but they give you 3 months to sign up, however, they back-charge you to the date of arrival even if you haven't used it.

You could try and plead ignorance, or being given misleading information from your lawyer and provide the documents from the insurance you had, but I've never heard of anyone successfully appealing it.  Please let us know how you get on though.

Hope this helps.

Cynic
Expat Team

Thank you for the reply!

Oh geez, this sucks. Out if curiosity, if I was injured and went to the ER before I purchased insurance, would I have been covered or just given a big bill? I don't really understand how they can make me pay for something I could not immediately purchase and didn't use. I mean, without the residency permit, I couldn't buy it period. It just doesn't make any sense to me.

Do you know if the government will sent me a bill, or will that come from the insurance company I'm using?

I might appeal - since I did use temporary insurance, I feel like I have a slightly better case, though they will probably fob me off.

Thank you again.

Hi,

The obligation of being insured started on the first day of your employment.

Regards,

Richard

That would be much better - one extra month to pay for, not three....

You should inform your lawyer that he provided you wrong information and he need update his information. This might help future customers to prevent financial problems.

northernsoul :

Thank you for the reply!

Oh geez, this sucks. Out if curiosity, if I was injured and went to the ER before I purchased insurance, would I have been covered or just given a big bill? I don't really understand how they can make me pay for something I could not immediately purchase and didn't use. I mean, without the residency permit, I couldn't buy it period. It just doesn't make any sense to me.

Do you know if the government will sent me a bill, or will that come from the insurance company I'm using?

I might appeal - since I did use temporary insurance, I feel like I have a slightly better case, though they will probably fob me off.

Thank you again.

Hi again,

Once you are registered and have a BSN and insurance, the system would have recognised you from your BSN number.  If there was a problem, you would have been asked for your insurance details in the ER; there were stories on Dutch TV a few years back about Dutch ambulance crews carrying credit card machines in the ambulance.  Before we moved to Holland full time, our daughter broke both her arms while on a camping holiday here; we had to pay her medical bills in cash upfront, then claim the money back from our Insurance company; we got our money back no problem, it was just a bit of a shock to get dragged out of the x-ray department and be faced by a hospital administrator wanting her money.

When you select your approved insurance provider, they will bill you automatically from your bank account for the Insurance going forward and send you a bill for any unpaid/due amounts.

It's always worth asking if you can get credit for what you paid already; the Dutch have a saying, something like "you already have no, you might get yes".

Hope this helps.

Cynic
Expat Team

NLRichard :

Hi,

The obligation of being insured started on the first day of your employment.

Regards,

Richard

Hi and welcome to the Forum.

I think you'll find that the system is different for expats; from elsewhere on the internet:

Q&A - What happens if I don’t take out health insurance?

If you do not take out basic Dutch health insurance within four months, and the government becomes aware that you are not covered, then you will receive a letter from the CAK asking to you to sign up for health insurance within three months.
If you do not get health insurance within that period, then the CAK will issue you with a fine (386,49 euros in 2018).
If you still haven’t taken action after six months then you will receive a second fine for the same amount.
If you still haven’t obtained health insurance within nine months of the first letter, then the CAK will register you with an insurer on your behalf and they will deduct the monthly premium from your salary.

Hope this helps.

Cynic
Expat Team

So how does one apply for Dutch required government insurance?

T

DLNW :

So how does one apply for Dutch required government insurance?

T

Hi and welcome to the Forum.

Follow this link to the Dutch Government website that explains the process; it also has a link to a comprehensive Q&A section.

Hope this helps.

Cynic
Expat Team

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