Health Care in The Netherlands

The Dutch Health Care System

Who is covered?

Since 2006, all residents (and nonresidents who pay Dutch income tax) are mandated to purchase health insurance coverage. Insurers are required to accept all applicants, and enrollees have the right to change insurer each year. Those with conscientious objections to insurance and active members of the armed forces are exempt from the mandate. In 2010, roughly 135,000 persons (1% of the Dutch population) were uninsured and 283,000 (2% of the population) defaulted or failed to pay their premium for at least six months and were subsequently uninsured. The number of defaulters has increased slightly over the years; in 2009, additional policy measures were taken to enforce insurance premium payment.

 For more information, read a Commonwealth Fund profile of the Dutch health care system.



Rudy Douven

Harkness Project Title: Competition and Global Budgets in Health Care: Getting the Incentives Right Mentor: Thomas G. McGuire, Ph.D. (Harvard Medical School) Co-Mentor:...


Jeroen Struijs

Harkness Project Title: A Comparison of Payment Reforms in the U.S. and the Netherlands Mentor: Meredith B. Rosenthal, Ph.D. (Harvard School of Public Health) Co-Mentor: Joseph P. Newhouse, Ph.D. (Harvard...