Healthcare Insurance for Australians visiting The Netherlands

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Thank you to Peter Fransen from ZIC | Zorgverzekering Informatie Centrum for this guest post in English.  You can also find a guest post in het Nederlands from Peter: Expats in Australië: belangrijke vragen rondom uw zorgverzekering beantwoord 

 Healthcare Insurance for Australians visiting the Netherlands

Planning on visiting the Netherlands any time soon? Or are you a potential expat or student looking for a new country to expand your horizon? One of the most important things to consider before you leave is your health coverage.  The following article will give you an idea of the Dutch healthcare system, and hopefully gives you an idea which type of insurance applies to you. 


Traveling abroad can have some serious consequences for your health coverage. Fortunately, travelling to the Netherlands has become a lot easier in terms of access to health care, thanks to Australia being one of the few Non-EU countries with a treaty for the reimbursement of medical expenses.

The Australian government has made health care agreements with the Netherlands, Belgium, Finland, the United Kingdom, and Norway, amongst others. These agreements mean that Australian residents can receive help with covering the costs of essential medical treatment when they are visiting these countries.

However, it’s worth noting that these treaties do not replace any type of travel insurance, as they only cover essential care. Also, if you decide to stay in the Netherlands for more than one year, these agreements will no longer apply to you. Therefore, it is always advisable to consult your health insurer, and take out additional travel insurance before you take off.


Each year, many expats find their way to the Netherlands for job and study opportunities. Dutch universities are amongst the highest-ranking ones in the world, and the job market is known to be generally expat friendly. If you are looking for a long-term stay in the Netherlands, one of the first things you will encounter is the necessity for proper health insurance.

Generally, everyone who lives in the Netherlands is entitled to have health insurance. If you enjoy any kind of income in, or from, the Netherlands, you are obliged to take out at least a basic healthcare insurance package. This package covers, amongst other services, visiting a GP, hospital care and treatment by medical specialists.

Even though the obligation for having basic health insurance has been governmentally determined, privatized companies are the ones who distribute the health insurance packages. This however does not affect the contents of the packages, since every health insurer has to give out the same amount of care. Furthermore, health insurers are obliged to accept anyone who wishes to apply for a basic health insurance package.

If you are visiting the Netherlands for study purposes, the length of your studies, along with whether or not you wish to work next to your studies, can play a big role in the type of health insurance you need. The Healthcare Insurance Information Centre provides more information on Studying and doing an internship in the Netherlands.

This is a guest post by Peter Fransen (1982).  Peter is a writer, freelance journalist, full time father and works in the healthcare industry.  He writes regularly for the  Zorgverzekering Informatie Centrum (Z.I.C) in The Netherlands.

Disclaimer: This article is a guest post and is provided with the intent to provide general information.  Please make sure you do sufficient research on your personal situation, Dutch Australian holds no understanding of or responsibility for your personal circumstances.

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