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Health insurance for EU students

Last modified on 19-03-2024 17:09
Students from the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland can apply for a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). The card allows you to receive medical care in the Netherlands.
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You are required by Dutch law to have health insurance for the duration of your stay in the Netherlands. Read more about what happens if you don’t have health insurance.

Apply for the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)

You can apply for an EHIC card, free of charge, by contacting your local health authority/national health service, or your health insurance provider. It can take a few weeks for your card to arrive, so be sure to apply for it well before coming to the Netherlands.

EHIC coverage

With the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)External link you’ll receive necessary, state-provided medical care in the Netherlands with the same rights, and at the same cost, as Dutch citizens. The EHIC covers the cost of:

  • Essential health care such as visits to a doctor/general practitioner (GP), maternity care and hospital care
  • Emergency health care
  • Medical care for a pre-existing condition that requires monitoring and attention, such as diabetes
  • Medicines

What is not covered:

  • EHIC is not an alternative to travel insurance and does not cover repatriation.
  • It does not cover dental costs if you are over 18. Check if your health insurance at home covers dental care costs abroad.

Not everything is free

EHIC is not a guarantee of free services. Each country’s healthcare system is different, so you might have to pay for services in the Netherlands that are free in your home country.

When you go to the pharmacy with your prescription and your EHIC card, you will be charged the same price for the medicine as Dutch people pay, even if the medicine is free in your country.

If you’re worried about this, check with your home country insurance to see if they will cover the complete period of your stay abroad, and if they will reimburse any out-of-pocket health expenses you might have in the Netherlands.

Supplemental private health insurance

We recommend that you take out supplemental private health insurance to cover the medical costs that the EHIC does not cover.

There are many different insurance companies you can use for this. Some insurance agencies offer special deals for students, such as the AON health insurance for studentsExternal link


If have questions about your health insurance situation, please contact the Zorgverzekeringslijn.nlExternal link.