Anyone who resides or works in the Netherlands is required, under the Health Insurance Act (Zorgverzekeringswet), to take out insurance with a health insurer of their choice to cover medical expenses within four months of arrival.
Please be aware that international health insurances are not usually acccepted as a substitute for Dutch health insurance.
People on a low income may be eligible for healthcare benefit to help pay for health insurance.
The government decides on the cover provided by the standard package. All insurers offer the same standard package. Healthcare insurers are obliged to accept anyone who applies for the standard insurance package and must charge all policyholders the same premium, regardless of their age or state of health. You pay a fixed, nominal premium to your insurance company for the standard health insurance package.
If you have an income or receive a social security benefit, you are additionally due to pay an income related premium, which will be deducted from your salary automatically. Depending on your situation, the percentage varies.
The standard package does not cover all medical expenses. You can opt to take out additional insurance to cover, for example, physiotherapy or dental care. Additional insurance is not obligatory and you are not obliged to take out both the standard package and additional insurance with the same insurance company.
Extensive independent information provided by the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sports about Health Care Insurances in English, German, Spanish, French and Polish can be found at the Zorgverzekeringslijn website. Their Healthcare Insurance Line (Zorgverzekeringslijn) can be reached at 0800-6464644 from within the Netherlands or +31-88-9006960 from abroad (9am to 5pm).
For students different terms and conditions might apply.
This information was partially sourced from this government website.
ACCESS offers has a free information guide about the health care system in the Netherlands.