Everybody who lives and works in the Netherlands is required to contribute towards health insurance on an income-based tax system. This insurance must be applied for within four months of arriving in the country.
Public insurance is separated into two different schemes. The first of these schemes covers general practitioners, emergencies and hospitalisation while the other covers long-term treatment and nursing.
Non-EU citizens living in the Netherlands for longer than three months will need a residency permit before applying for public healthcare. Those who hold a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) are able to use it in the Netherlands for up to a year.
While the excellent public healthcare system provides basic services, taking out private international health insurance will provide expats with more comprehensive options when it comes to specialist treatments. These include a wider range of rehabilitation and maternity care programmes, more extensive dental treatments, and extended physiotherapy sessions, amongst others.
When using the private healthcare system expats will also have more immediate access to treatments and health professionals, avoiding the long waiting lists that can occur at state-run institutions.
It is crucial that expats planning to make use of this system take out comprehensive private health insurance to cover the exorbitant costs of private healthcare.