Do you want to start a new journey of life in the Netherlands? Want to learn more about great health plans in your new home? Keep reading and we’ll tell you everything you need to know to live worry-free in the Netherlands.
But sometimes people don’t bother to get health insurance.
If you like to lead a quiet and quality life, Holland is the place for you! Several Dutch companies hire foreigners, in addition to being a country with several exchange students.
In this article, in addition to giving you several options for health insurance, we will explain a little about how the health system works in the Netherlands, types of visas to live in the country, the difference between travel and health insurance, plan coverage and a lot more!
How does the Netherlands health system work?
In the land of flowers, Holland, the government assumes that access to the health system has to be the same for everyone in the country. In this way, everyone needs to pay for the services and those who cannot afford them receive aid from the government.
It is also important to point out that to have access to the country’s health system, you must be covered by insurance (national or international).
Family doctors in the country are called Huisarts. He is the primary care, which will refer you to a hospital or a specialist doctor, if necessary.
To get an appointment with a Huisarts you will first undergo a triage, which will check your symptoms and refer you to a specialist. This referral usually comes if it is extremely necessary.
Furthermore, it is not recommended that you go to a hospital without a referral, except in cases of emergencies, such as seizures, heart attack or severe fractures.
As an immigrant in Netherlands, should I get an expat health insurance plan like those on the list below? Why can’t I just get a national Netherlands plan?
This choice will depend on your individual needs in the destination country, such as the length of your stay in the Netherlands, coverage required for pre-existing conditions or not, as well as considering Dutch national options.
Despite having never lived in the Netherlands, I can assure you that the insurance below will cover the needs you will have in your new country.
If you really choose an international plan, check at the Dutch embassy if it has the minimum coverage necessary to be accepted when applying for your visa.
Below I have listed some of the reasons that may make you opt for an international health plan instead of public or national coverage:
- Most likely, monthly payments will be lower with an international health insurance plan.
- Taking out health insurance is mandatory and will be easier to use if your stay in the Netherlands is shorter.
- International health insurance makes it easier to renew, extend or cancel the policy.This flexibility is very important, especially if you are still not sure how long you will be in the Netherlands.
- International health insurance is so named because it offers coverage in other countries, not just the Netherlands.
What nationalities can be covered by international health insurance plans?
The health insurance companies listed in this article are for the following citizens living in the Netherlands as expats, immigrants, workers, or even students:
- Citizens of the European Union (Portuguese, French, German, Spanish, Polish, Belgian, Swedish, et.)
- British (English, Scottish, Welsh, Irish)
- New Zealanders/Kiwis
- And for citizens of almost any other country
Beyond expats/immigrants that reside in Netherlands, these companies also work for residents who live in:
- The United States
- Europe (European Union or the United Kingdom)
- And for expats who live in any almost any other country in the world
As they are international companies and plans, they can be used by anyone anywhere in the world, having worldwide coverage!
Why can’t I just use travel insurance for my move to Netherlands? What’s the difference between travel insurance and expat insurance?
Travel insurance is truly an essential for any trip so you’ll be covered in case of emergencies or other unexpected situations…as well as any travel emergencies, like lost baggage or canceled lights.
As much as it is necessary, it is worth noting that travel insurance is not recommended for immigrants, because even if it is possible to sign them for longer periods, it is made for temporary stays in a country and not for those who wish to be immigrants. So, it is extremely necessary to choose an insurance plan that specifically covers expatriates. And that’s what I’ll help you with the list below.
What are the 7 best (and cheapest!) health insurance companies for expats and immigrants in Netherlands?
Finding the perfect health plan can be very stressful, even more so in this moment of change, where there are many concerns. Thinking about making this process easier, we leave below a table comparing the options listed here. So you can quickly see the advantages and disadvantages of each one and choose the one that fits you best!
This way, you can quickly see the pros and cons of each and choose the most suitable plan for you!
After the table, you can find a more detailed description of each company, their plans, benefits, and much more.
That said, my recommendation is to get an online quote with each of the companies I suggest below. It may take a bit of time, but at the end of the day, it can help you save lots of money!
|Medical Maximum||Unlimited (for the Platinum plan)||$8,000,000||The site doesn’t specify||Unlimited||US$1,000,000 per year||The site doesn’t specify||$1,000,000|
|U.S. In-Network Coinsurance||You choose. From 70%(100% thereafter) to 100%||100%||No||60% for maximum coinsurance and then 100%||Yes, for higher fees||Only in emergencies||Yes|
|U.S. Out-of-Network Coinsurance||You choose. From 70%(100% thereafter) to 100%||90% to $5,000 (100% thereafter)||Yes, for higher fees||100%||100%||100%||100%|
|Mental Health Availability||No waiting period||12-month waiting period||Co-payment of $25 per visit, waived deductible||75% up to 40 visits / 60% after that||No||Waiting period of 10 months||Depends on the plan|
|Mental Health Benefit||Inpatient and Outpatient: $5,000 lifetime maximum to paid in full depending on the plan||Inpatient and Outpatient: $50,000 lifetime maximum||Co-payment of $250 after deductible||100% up to 60 days||International and ambulance: limit not specified|
|Inpatient Prescription Drugs||$500 to paid in full depending on the plan||Up to $8,000,000||Yes||Complete reimbursement||Yes||Yes|
|Outpatient Prescription Drugs||None, unless you buy the International Outpatient Option||Up to $8,000,000||Complete reimbursement||Yes||Yes|
|Evacuation and Repatriation of Remains||Paid in full||Up to $8,000,000||Yes||Up to $25,000||No||Up to 10,000 euros||Yes|
|Accidental Death & Dismemberment||Depends on the plan||Rider available, limit depends on age.||$50,000||Depends on the plan|
|Emergency Dental||Paid in full||Up to $8,000,000||Optional||1,000 per year, $ 200 per tooth||Yes, however you need to pay an extra fee on top of your plan||Depending on the plan, it’s unlimited||It has coverage in the Diplomat Long Term and Diplomat International plans|
|Treatment Necessary as Result of Terrorism||Up to the amount of the coverage||Rider available up to $50,000-lifetime maximum||Clause available up to maximum of $50,000 in lifetime payments|
|Amateur Sports||Unlimited||Rider available up to $10,000||No||Yes||No||No||No|
|Routine Nursery Care of a Newborn Child of a Covered Pregnancy||$25,000 to $156,000 depending on the plan||$1,000 additional deductible, $50,000 lifetime maximum, $200 wellness benefit for first 12 months||Yes||Depends on the plan||Can be unlimited depending on the plan||Can be unlimited depending on the plan|
|Children born as a result of fertility treatment (such as IVF or surrogacy)||Only after the baby is 90 days old||Excluded||Depends on the plan||Excluded||No|
|Neonatal Intensive Care Unit||Check website for updated information||$250,000 maximum for first 31 days||No||Up to $250,000 for the first 31 days||No|
|Pre-existing condition exclusion period||Conditions that are fully disclosed on the application and have not been excluded or restricted by a rider will be covered as any illness||Conditions that are fully disclosed on the application and have not been excluded or restricted by a rider will be covered as any illness||Conditions that are fully disclosed on the application and have not been excluded or restricted by a rider will be covered as any illness|
|Pre-existing condition look back period||Any time prior to effective date||Any time prior to effective date||Any time prior to effective date||Any time prior to effective date||Any time prior to the effective date||Any time prior to the effective date||Any time prior to the effective date|
|Pre-existing annual maximum once covered||Unlimited depending on the plan||Up to $8,000,000||Unlimited depending on the plan||Unlimited depending on the plan||Full reimbursement||Unlimited depending on the plan||Unlimited depending on the plan|
|Pre-existing lifetime maximum once covered||Unlimited depending on the plan||Up to $8,000,000||Unlimited depending on the plan||Unlimited depending on the plan||Full reimbursement||Unlimited depending on the plan||Unlimited depending on the plan|
Attention: This article and table are made for informational purposes as the information contained here is subject to changes and updates.
In my opinion, the best international health insurance companies for expats in Netherlands are:
- Global Underwriters
- Foyer Global Health
Cigna is a company that was founded in the United States that has a large role in Europe. It is a great choice when it comes to international health insurance.
With more than 60 years of history in the business, Cigna is recognized for its insurance, with more than 170 million customers around the world My partner, Nikki, already used a Cigna health plan to get her health card residence in Sweden.
With so many clients around the world, it’s natural that Cigna has a wide variety of plans to choose from, such as specific plans for expatriates going to work in another country.
For you moving to the Netherlands, there are individual and family plans. With Cigna plans, you can add benefits to your plan according to your needs and the type of medical care you need covered.
You can pick from Cigna’s Silver, Platinum, or Gold plan, all of which will give you coverage in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide.
If you’re looking for a budget health insurance plan for Netherlands, a great option is Cigna’s Close Care plan. This particular plan is the cheapest that Cigna has since it only offers coverage in your country of origin and the country where you plan to reside.
Pros of an international health insurance plan with Cigna:
- 24/7 customer service available
- Flexibility to customize plans based on exactly what you need to be covered
- Includes coverage for Covid-19 and PCR tests
- No sign-up required to get a quote
- They have a digital platform to help you find hospitals and clinics near your location
- Cigna will, for the most part, pay health providers directly (so you won’t need to request reimbursement, which can be a long and complicated process)
Cons of an international health insurance plan with Cigna:
- Some of their plans don’t cover maternity care
To continue the list of renowned companies in the international insurance area, we have IMG. With more than 25 years in the market, it has three subsidiaries around the world.
From plans for families and expats, to travelers and individuals, IMG has it all. Their plans vary widely, with durations ranging from short stays to a year or more for those wishing to spend more time in the country.
The filters present on the site and their interactivity facilitate – and much – the navigation and search for plans. It is possible to select dates, duration and destination, for example. You can also add personal details such as your age and specific needs to assess whether the chosen plan meets your requirements.
Thus, the IMG website will provide you with an estimated value and details about the plans so that you can choose the best one!
It is important to be aware of the specifics of the plans, as some do not cover certain age groups or Covid-19 needs.
Advantages of an international health insurance plan with IMG:
- Customer service 24 hours a day, seven days a week
- Flexibility plans for different client profiles
- More than 17,000 physicians for support
Disadvantages of signing up for an international health insurance plan with IMG:
- Some plans do not cover COVID-19
- No coverage for people 75+ years old
Now Health International is committed to delivering a service that is efficient, affordable, and easily attainable, as indicated by its name. The company places great importance on fostering strong connections with its customers. They prioritize providing clear and concise plan information and promptly addressing any inquiries or concerns through their dedicated customer support team.
Now Health plans are specifically designed to meet the unique obstacles faced by individuals living abroad. Their aim is to offer guidance and facilitate access to top-notch healthcare services worldwide.
Advantages of an international health insurance plan with Now Health:
- Customized plans according to your needs
- Clear information and excellent customer service team
- Provides coverage in 194 countries and territories
- Plans with high coverage routine maternity coverage
Disadvantages of an international health insurance plan with Now Health:
- You must wait a 12-month grace period to use maternity coverage.
- In some procedures, it is necessary to use the company’s reimbursement system, which means that you would have to pay for your care initially
4. Aetna (acquired by Allianz)
Having won numerous awards in the international insurance category, Aetna is one of the leaders in the field. If you are looking for credibility and security during your stay in the Netherlands, this company will be a great hire, so it is worth considering!
Despite the low variety of plans, Aetna has flexibility that allows you to add additional coverage, such as dental. Depending on the cases, covered expenses can reach up to five million dollars.
You can choose from family or individual plans, and may include coverage for repatriation and medical evacuation.
As an expat, I highly recommend the Aetna Pioneer. The plan has basic coverage of up to $1.75 million. Simply fill out a short form on the website to see an accurate quote and get detailed information on available policies.
Advantages of an international health insurance plan with Aetna:
- They cover maternity
- Has an app that summarizes information and easy location of services and providers
- Short, medium and long term travel plans
- 24/7 care
- Pre-travel assistance to help with questions, such as vaccinations and regular use medications
Disadvantages of an international health insurance plan with Aetna
- Low plan diversity
- Higher prices than other companies on the list
Global Underwriters is another recognized and popular company when it comes to international health insurance. They have insurance policies that serve expatriates, students, digital nomads and immigrants, that is, a great diversity for everyone with the objective of starting a life in another country.
If you are recently moving to the Netherlands, I recommend the Diplomat Long Term or the Diplomat International Plan. Both plans have broad coverage and generally include everything an immigrant could need in their new home.
Advantages of an international health insurance plan with Global Underwriters:
- Up to $1 million of medical coverage in the two plans mentioned above, and $1 million in coverage in case of accidental death or dismemberment
- All day, every day of the week client assistance
- The above plans have emergency dental coverage, medical evacuations, and repatriation of remains
Disadvantages of an international health insurance plan with Global Underwritres:
- Diplomat Long Term does not insure travelers in Iran, Afghanistan and Cuba
- Diplomat International does not cover COVID-19
- Global Underwriters does not cover residents of Australia, Iran, South Dakota, Maryland and New York
SafetyWing is one of the most popular and recognized companies in insurance for digital nomads, as it offers specific health insurance plans for remote workers and companies, expats, and digital nomads.
SafetyWing’s policies are more accessible than other companies on the market, which is one of their biggest advantages. In addition, they cover, free of charge, children from two to ten years old, if their guardian signs up for a plan.
Depending on your age, the plan may change in value. The cheapest of SafetyWing’s plans doesn’t cover pre-existing health conditions, but covers up to $250,000. In addition, it is still possible to add coverage for the pre-existing condition separately.
What I love most about SafetyWing is that the company gives you 30 days of free coverage in your home country for every 90 days you use their plans abroad, like in Netherlands.
Advantages of an international health insurance plan with SafetyWing:
- Modern website, easy access to information and intuitive
- Customer service every day of the week, 24 hours a day
- 30 days of free coverage in your home country for every 90 days of coverage used abroad
- Coverage for COVID-19 and treatment recommended by medical specialists
Disadvantages of an international health insurance plan with Safety Wing:
- The plans are not as comprehensive and tend to have less overall coverage than some of the other options on this list;
- Website prices do not include fees and taxes that you may have to pay
Foyer Global Health is also very renowned for international health insurance plans for expats, travelers, immigrants and digital nomads.
It has a wide variety of plans, probably the biggest you can find on the market, in addition to being a reliable company (it is part of the largest European Foyer Group).
Advantages of an international health insurance plan with Foyer Global Health:
- The plans provide coverage for consultations, dental treatments and even surgeries
- 24/7 online or by phone
- Pre-travel service for vaccinations and first aid kit preparation
- Coverage is available for evacuation and repatriation
Disadvantages of an international health insurance plan with Foyer Global Health:
- The coverage limits are not clear
Also for more than two decades in the insurance market, GeoBlue offers insurance plans with international health coverage.
But GeoBlue only insures US citizens and residents. So, if you are not a US citizen or resident moving to Netherlands, you can skip straight to the next option.
GeoBlue is another insurance company that has health plans for different traveler profiles, including immigrants/expats. Xplorer Essential is the plan I highly recommend, as it’s made for long-term stays with unlimited coverage.
If you need a short-term plan, bet on the Voyager plan. By filling out a form and contacting a Geoblue broker, it is possible to make a budget and receive more information about each of the plans offered by the company.
Advantages of a health insurance plan with GeoBlue:
- Feature application such as telemedicine
- 24-hour customer service, seven days a week
- Some plans have coverage for existing medical conditions
- All plans have unlimited coverage
Disadvantages of an international health insurance plan with GeoBlue:
- Only available to US residents or US citizens
- Low plan flexibility
- You need to submit a form or contact a broker for information or a quote for plans
What types of visas can you apply for to live, work, and study in Netherlands?
All visas to live in the Netherlands are divided into short-term and long-term. It is important to know that the first step to request it is to schedule a visit to the Dutch consulate in your country through the official website.
Below I will talk a little about each of the visas in more detail.
1. Schengen Visa: It is a tourist visa that lasts a maximum of 90 days. Citizens of some countries do not need to apply for it and it allows the tourist to move freely throughout the Schengen area, which is made up of 28 European countries in total.
If your citizenship allows you to enter the Netherlands freely, you still need to present certain documents, such as a passport, round-trip tickets, proof of hotel, proof of financial resources and international health insurance.
Also, it is important to remember that a tourist visa cannot be extended.
2. Temporary Residence Permit Visa (MVV): The MVV or Machtiging tot Voorlopig Verblijf is required if you want to spend more than 90 days in the Netherlands and it includes visas such as work, study, family, business and others.
To get a long-term spouse visa, you must first take the civil integration exam, which will assess your knowledge of Dutch culture and language, costing 150 euros.
All types of long-term visas require a sponsor who will make the request, be it your university, company or a family member. On average, this type of request takes between five and ten business days.
If you do not have a sponsor, it is also possible to apply for the visa on your own, but the deadline for issuing it will be longer.
In any case, regardless of the type of request, you will need to fill out a request form.
Long-term visas are:
- Work Visa: It is required to legally work in the Netherlands and as a minimum requirement to apply for it, you must have a Dutch employer who will be the sponsor and apply for your visa.
Various documents from both the company and the employer are required. Because of this, it is impossible to apply for this visa as a digital nomad.
- Student Visa: The first step to apply for this type of visa is to be accepted by a university that is a recognized sponsor, in addition to presenting proof of financial resources to stay in the country and achieve good grades every academic year.
This visa costs 171 euros and, just as the work visa can be requested by the employer, the student visa can be requested by the educational institution when you are accepted.
- Spouse Visa: It is necessary to meet certain requirements to apply for this type of visa, such as having a long-term relationship or being registered in a stable union, living together, being over 21 years old, one of the two in the relationship having Dutch nationality and agree to be the visa sponsor.
Applying for this visa, like a student visa, also costs 171 euros.
Here are the 7 best (and cheapest!) companies for health insurance for expats and immigrants living in Netherlands:
- Now Health
- Global Underwriters
- Foyer Global Health
Deciding to start a life abroad can be complicated, so I hope this article has helped you clear up some of your doubts and made the process simpler for you! If you still have any questions about health insurance for the Netherlands or moving abroad in general, leave a comment and I’ll help you as soon as possible!
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