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Healthcare in the UK

FAQs about Healthcare Insurance

Who needs to take out a new health insurance policy?
Everyone who is a legal resident of the Netherlands or who pays payroll taxes in the Netherlands needs to have the new health insurance. The only exceptions are military personnel who are on active duty and those who refuse to take out medical insurance on the grounds of their religious convictions. For these groups, there will be a savings scheme.
For the standard package, everyone above the age of 18 will pay about €90 per month. That is €20 to €40 more (per person) than what those covered by the old national health insurance used to pay. Depending on your income and family situation, you may be able to get part of that back: the so-called healthcare allowance. It has also been decided that no one will have to pay more than five percent of his or her gross income in premiums. For people who live alone, the limit is one half percent higher. Those who choose to take out supplementary insurance will have to pay more. Depending on the package, the premiums can be hundreds of euros more per month.
The exact premiums for the different policies have been announced. You can find those premiums on the websites of the various insurance companies. There are also websites that compare the different policies with each other.
Insurance companies can offer the people they insure a policy excess / deductible, which can lower the amount of the premium you have to pay. The amount of the excess / deductible varies between €0 and €500. It is not a good idea for people with HIV to take out insurance with a policy excess / deductible.
Whoever has not yet applied for a healthcare allowance can still do that via the tax service. You can do that online (in Dutch) via or by telephone (belastingtelefoon): 0800 - 0543.
Either on the form they will send you or online you will need to fill in what you expect to earn in the coming year. The tax service will determine the amount of the allowance based on that information. If you live alone, you can receive up to €35 a month. If you have a partner, you can receive up to €100 per month (per household).
Your current healthcare insurance company has already sent you an offer for an insurance policy that resembles as much as possible the policy you already have (standard package with any supplementary insurance). If you don't like their offer, you can shop around to see what other healthcare insurance companies are offering.You do not have to accept the offer from your insurance company immediately. You can take your time.You must have begun your new insurance policy by May 2006. It is smarter to have this done before 1 March 2006, however, since that is when your current insurance company's offer will expire.
If you do nothing, you will be automatically agreeing to the package your insurance company has offered you.
No, existing group insurance policies will also expire. Employers can make new agreements for new group insurance schemes, however. They can bargain for a discount premium for their employees with a particular insurance company. The premium can be a maximum of 10 percent lower than the premium that someone who is not part of a group arrangement would pay for the same package.
Your current insurance company is legally required to make you an offer for a package that is equivalent to the one you already have. All other companies also have to accept everyone for the standard package, regardless of their age or health risks.
This means that no one needs to remain uninsured. That is because insurance companies are legally required to accept everyone who applies for health insurance.
That acceptance requirement does not hold for supplementary insurance. Even for that, however, most insurance companies will accept everyone until 1 March 2006.That may change after 1 March. If you don't have supplementary insurance now, or if you want a better insurance policy, now is the time to get one.
With regard to supplementary dental insurance policies, it is more likely that not everyone will be accepted.
Children under the age of 18 are insured for free along with their parent(s). But you can also take out supplementary insurance for children, for example for orthodontic work.
With a "benefits-in-kind" policy, your insurance company will offer you contracted care provided by its contract partners. You won't get a bill for the care you receive, but your insurance company may not have a contract with all care providers.
The reimbursement policy, which is usually a bit more expensive, resembles the private insurance policies in the old system. You will have to pay the bills yourself, and the insurance company will pay you back afterwards. Many insurance companies have made agreements with hospitals and pharmacies so that they will send their bills directly to the insurance companies. With a reimbursement policy, you can choose for yourself where you go to get healthcare.
If you choose for a reimbursement policy (restitutiepolis), the answer is yes. If you have a "benefits-in-kind" policy (naturapolis), this is not guaranteed. Nevertheless, it appears that the insurance companies have contracts with nearly all care providers for nearly all "benefits-in-kind" policies. You can always ask your insurance company in advance to be sure.This may change in the future: insurance companies may have contracts with fewer care providers than they do now for the "benefits-in-kind" policy.
Then you will not have received an offer from an insurance company. You will have to sign up with an insurance company in order to be insured as from 1 January 2006.
Because healthcare insurance is now compulsory for all residents of the Netherlands, you can be fined if you do not have insurance.
You will be forced to take out an insurance policy at that moment and you will also have to pay a fine because you had been uninsured.
Then you will still get a new offer for a new insurance policy. The debt-collection procedure for your old premium will simply continue after 1 January 2006.
Always make sure that you continue to pay the premium, because if you do not pay, the insurance company is allowed to cancel your coverage after some time. Since healthcare insurance is compulsory, you will then have to sign up with another insurance company. This new insurance company is also required to accept you. Obviously, you will still need to pay the overdue premiums.
Asylum seekers and other aliens who are entitled to reception/accommodation through Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (COA) and who benefit from the Regulation on Provisions to Asylum Seekers (RVA 2005) are covered by the Healthcare Expenses Scheme for Asylum Seekers (ZRA) that the COA has arranged. The new Healthcare Insurance Act does not apply to them.

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