A Blog by International Students at Leiden University

Getting your Dutch Health Insurance

Why bother?

Moving to The Netherlands from a different country is exciting, and sure enough, as soon as you arrive here you want to experience as much as you can about your new surroundings. One thing that often drops from the agenda is getting a Dutch health insurance.

Truth be told, it took me no less than thirteen months of living in the Netherlands until I finally got one myself. However, I would highly encourage you to contract one as it will make your life here much easier. Because sooner or later, you will probably get sick and when that time comes you will be glad to be covered.

I would even encourage you to get one if you are from countries as close as Germany because it can be a nuisance having to forward all the bills from the Dutch doctor to the one in your home country, and even then they often don’t cover the full expense. From experience, I have also noticed that doctors are much nicer to you when you have a Dutch insurance.

Getting the insurance

(Please note that the following tips are for EU citizen only – I do not know whether the same rules apply for people from outside the EU, unfortunately)

If you decide to get the health insurance in the Netherlands, I would recommend taking the Zorg en Zekerheid one. The general insurance excludes dental care and physiotherapy, but you can include it by paying somewhat more each month. The insurance itself costs 111,95 euros monthly BUT you can request a healthcare allowance from the tax authorities, and they will transfer 99 euros every month on your bank account. This means that you only have to pay around twelve euros each month for your insurance. Great, huh?

Here are the steps you need to do in order to get your insurance:

1. At first, you must request your personal DigidID. This consists of a username and a password of your choice and gives you access to most Dutch government websites. You’ll need it for your insurance. You also need your BSN which you received from the town hall after registering.

2. Then you can apply for your insurance. If you live in Leiden, I suggest going to the Zorg en Zekerheid office which is just opposite the café Anne & Max in the centre.

3. Then go to and click on “zorgtoeslag – nu aanvragen”. This will lead you to the site where you can request your healthcare allowance.

4. You’re done!

I hope this article has helped you in the process of getting your insurance and if you still have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask me!

Cheers, Clara

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