You are required to have appropriate health insurance when staying in the Netherlands. This is defined by law. It is strongly recommended that you have appropriate liability and travel insurance as well.
Here you will find information on the following types of insurances:
- Dutch public health insurance
- Private insurance
- Liability and travel insurance
- Important notice: Letters from CAK / Financial penalty
- Information concerning Brexit
- Insurance checklist
Dutch public health insurance
Who needs to take out a Dutch public health insurance ?
International students who have a paid internship* or a part-time job need to take Dutch public health insurance.
Please note that international students who do not have a paid internship or part-time job are not allowed to take out Dutch public health insurance, but need to arrange a private insurance.
In case you need to take out a Dutch public health insurance, you can find a checklist regarding the topic here (pdf, 392 kB). You can also contact the Zorgverzekeringslijn when you have questions. If you do not take out Dutch public health insurance while you should, you risk having to pay a penalty.
See for more information the Dutch Health Care system.
*Up to now, international students doing a paid internship and receiving more than 150 euros internship pay were legally required to take out a Dutch basic health insurance. This policy has now changed.
As of 1 October 2018, international interns receiving at least the Dutch minimum wage that applies to their specific situation, are considered to be insured under the Dutch Health Insurance Act. This means they are legally required to take out Dutch basic health insurance. If the internship pay is less than this minimum wage, the interns are not allowed to take out a Dutch basic health insurance.
If the latter is the case, they can stay insured with the health insurer in their home country or take out a private international health insurance (Aon student insurance). Students from the EU/EEA may be eligible to receive a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) which covers their necessary medical costs during their stay. They are advised to check this with the health insurer in their home country before departure.
For the calculation of the minimum wage that applies to a specific situation, please see the following tool (only available in Dutch).
EHIC: European Health Insurance Card
If you are a citizen of one of the European Union countries and you will stay temporarily, you need to apply for the EU Health Insurance Card free of charge in your own country, provided you are not privately insured.
Important - the European Health Insurance Card:
* is not an alternative to travel insurance. It does not cover any private healthcare or costs such as a return flight to your home country or lost/stolen property,
* does not cover your costs if you are travelling for the express purpose of obtaining medical treatment,
* does not guarantee free services. Each country's healthcare system has different services. What may not cost anything at home might not be free in another country.
Please note that the terms and conditions of the EHIC card vary per country and this might mean that the EHIC card is not valid for the whole study period or does not apply to you. Please check carefully whether additional insurance like the Aon Student Insurance is necessary. Information about EHIC is also available at the following website. You can also download this brochure (pdf, 431 kB).
Download the EHIC app
This is a:
* Guide on how to use the European Health Insurance Card in the 28 EU countries, Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.
* Includes general information about the card, emergency phone numbers, covered treatments and costs, how to claim reimbursement and who to contact in case you have lost your card.
* Available in 24 languages with easy option to switch from one language to another.
Students from the UK studying in the EU
If you started studying in the Netherlands after 1 January 2021 you will have to apply for a GHIC (Global Health Insurance Card) from the NHS van de NHS is. UK students who started studying in the Netherlands before 1 January 2021 shoual have extended their EHIC, which is now called NEW UK EHIC.
As the terms and conditions of the different (home) insurances differ it is recommendable to also have a travel insurance. You can take a look at Aon Start+ insurance.
Students from the EU/EEA who are not required to take out Dutch public health insurance (see conditions above) and who do not have an EHIC, need to take out private insurance.
Students from outside the EU/EEA who are not required to take out Dutch public health insurance, need to take out private health insurance.
In case your stay in the Netherlands is shorter than three months, you should check whether your health insurance in your home country covers your temporary stay in the Netherlands. If not, it is recommended to obtain a private insurance.
There are several companies offering private insurance packages for international students, for instance Aon. For more information on their insurance packages for students, click here.
You can also download the AON insurance flyer Jan 2019 (pdf, 2,6 MB)
Liability and travel insurance
In case you do not take out private (health and) liability insurance with Aon, please check with your (health) insurance company at home or in the Netherlands whether you have valid liability insurance for the Netherlands.
In the Netherlands, you are legally liable if someone suffers damage through a mistake or accident caused by you. That means you must compensate the other person for the damage suffered. Personal liability insurance (aansprakelijkheidsverzekering, AVP) protects you against this. Individuals who own or ride a motorised vehicle are obliged to have a liability Insurance for motor vehicles ('WAM-verzekering').
AVP covers almost all damage for which you, as a private individual, can be held liable, regardless of how the incident in question occurred unless the damage is caused intentionally. Damage caused by motor vehicles, e.g. through a collision, is not covered by the AVP. For this, you must take out third-party insurance ('WAM-verzekering') for motor vehicles.
Obtaining a liability and (extended) travel insurance in addition to health insurance can prevent you from high costs in case of calamities (like accidents, unexpected return, repatriation or specific medical intervention).
Letters from CAK and financial penalty
Students who have arrived in Nijmegen may receive a letter from CAK, which states that you are not covered under a Dutch healthcare insurance and you should take out a public healthcare insurance. Even those students who have a European Health Insurance Card may receive this letter. Even if you are properly insured you must take action, because CAK has no other way of checking whether you are already properly insured. If you don't react to this letter within three months you risk being fined. If you receive a letter from CAK or CJIB please take action immediately!
To avoid being fined you have to fill out a form, print it and send it to the CAK. So it is important to contact the Sociale Verzekeringsbank (SVB) for an assessment of your insurance position under the Wlz scheme.They will be able to establish if this situation applies to you. We advise you to act promptly. More detailed information can be found on this website. A link to the form can be found here.
If you have received a letter from the CAK regarding your insurance obligation you need to take action within 3 months or you will receive a fine of approximately €400. Even if you incorrectly received the letter from the CAK.
For general questions about health care insurance, please contact the Zorgverzekeringslijn.
If you have received a CAK letter and have neglected to take action, you will receive persistent letters from CJIB (the Central Fine Collection Agency). In this case please fill out the Wlz form as outlined above and come by the International Office so that we can assist you further.
If you have any further questions please contact the International Office so that we can assist you with this matter. Should letters from CAK or CJIB be sent to your student complex addressed to a student who no longer lives there we kindly ask you to drop the letters off at the International Office desk.