Officials in the Netherlands are actively targeting expats to check that they have private medical insurance, it is claimed.
It is one of the few European Union countries where it is compulsory for all residents to buy private health insurance from an authorised local provider and the Dutch health authorities control price and cover.
But there is still widespread confusion over exemptions. For example, in some instances expats who have an international private medical insurance policy can be exempt.
Unlike some countries, the Dutch are more active when it comes to checking and anyone without cover can be subject to a twice a year spot fine of €350.
Jelf Employee Benefits is warning that expats are being increasingly targeted for official international private medical insurance (PMI) and said there has been a marked increase in on the spot fines in Holland for those without adequate cover.
The local private health cover must from a provider that is fully recognised by the Dutch health authorities. If the cover is unlicensed or unregulated, the individual is liable for a fine.
‘Expats and foreign nationals are particularly targeted by the authorities, and we are urging employers and individuals to take note of this enforcement,’ said Jelf Employee Benefits international healthcare director Sarah Dennis.
‘International healthcare has a completely different set of rules from the UK and this is a further reason why employers must seek advice from an expert. It is much better practice to get the insurance right first time,’ she explained.
Also Dutch health cover will provide local protection, but will not pay for repatriation back to the UK or treatment in the UK.
‘It is much better practice to get the insurance right first time, and specialists in international health cover can advise on specific anomalies for each country,’ added Dennis.
A basic health package costs around €100 a month and covers general medical care including medical specialists, hospital care and GP appointments as well ad dentists for under 18 year olds, prescriptions, ambulance services, pre and post natal care and midwifery. Extra cover is needed for things like extensive dental care and physiotherapy.
Dutch insurance companies are obliged by law to offer the basic package. They cannot deny cover because of gender, age or health reasons. You are not allowed to change your health insurance provider more than once a year.