What does the basisverzekering – Dutch basic health insurance – cover?

Forget all the stuff the insurance companies promise you – the basic health insurance package is determined by the government. It decides what insurers have to cover – basically doctors’ visits, all hospital treatment, some physiotherapy, maternity care and mental healthcare.

So if you see a website advertising that a basic package that includes medication, medical help abroad and that everyone is welcome regardless of their health situation, do not be fooled. All these items are required by law and offered by all insurance companies.

Here’s the official website: https://www.government.nl/topics/health-insurance

Most important to note is that visits to your family doctor are free, as is dental treatment for the under 18s. In other words, the fee for visiting your doctor is always paid by your health insurance and does not count towards the excess charge (eigen risico)

Top up policies

In addition to the basic policy, you can take out top-up policies. This is where health insurance companies can differentiate their services and make their money. If you need loads of physiotherapy or are into alternative medicine, for example, it might be worth doing this. But you need to check what you are buying very carefully. Frankly, if you are a pretty fit individual with a decent bank balance, there is no point.


Dentistry is insured through top-up dental policies. These cost €12 to €18 a month for the basic deal and are actually not worth it if your teeth are in good nick and you have two check-ups and two cleans a year. You don’t need dental insurance for your children. They are covered automatically.

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