Everyone residing in the Netherlands is obliged to take out health insurance, even if you are only in the country temporarily. You can change your provider once a year, but you can only do it at the end of the year – you must cancel your current plan before 1 January and get a new one before 1 February.
Health insurance plans
In the Netherlands, you are free to choose from any health insurer (zorgverzekeraar) offering the basic package (basisverzekering). The standard insurance package includes visits to GPs, some medications, dental care until the age of 18, nutritional/dietary care, medical aids, mental health services and more. For dental care for over-18s as well as various other extras, you need to take out additional insurance (aanvullende verzekering).
How to change provider
You are free to change your insurance provider once a year as the year comes to a close. There are various comparison websites where you can find out more about what’s on offer: Some of the main ones are ZorgWijzer.nl, Zorgverzekering Informatie Centrum and Independer (in Dutch). Find more sites by searching for ‘Dutch health insurance comparison’.
To change your insurance provider, you need to cancel your current insurance before 1 January and take out new insurance before 1 February. You will then be covered by your new provider with retroactive effect from 1 January.
Find out more about health insurance in the Netherlands.