Pay less for medical expenses

Even with comprehensive health care insurance, medical expenses can take a bite out of your budget. Fortunately, there are ways to pay less out of pocket for your health care costs.

Consult with doctors who adhere to tariff arrangements

Most doctors adhere to tariff agreements. That means that they charge fixed prices. A doctor who adheres to the agreed-upon tariffs is ‘geconventioneerd’.

Some caregivers (doctors, dentists, physiotherapists …) do not adhere to the agreed-upon tariffs. Typically you pay more with them. Your health insurance fund does not reimburse the surcharges.

Other doctors partly adhere to the tariff agreements: they apply the official rates at certain times or places. Beware that such a doctor can charge more for a consult in his private practice than during the consulting hour at the hospital.

Check whether your caregiver adheres to the tariff arrangement (Dutch).

Or go to a community health centre

For your primary care, you can also rely on a community health centre. All your consultations will be free. You may be asked to pay a small annual fee. If you are registered with a community health centre, you have a fixed general practitioner and nurse at the centre, and cannot go to see other doctors outside of the centre. Find a centre near you (map).

Request higher reimbursement status

Low-income families are entitled to a higher reimbursement and several other benefits. This is called ‘verhoogde tegemoetkoming’ (VT). Some people apply automatically, based on an existing status or allowance. If you have a low income and do not yet apply, you can make an appointment at your local health insurance fund office.

With this status, you are entitled to several benefits, including:

  • You pay less copay at the doctor, dentist, physiotherapist, pharmacist, and hospital.
  • Your general practitioner only charges you the copay. Your health insurance fund pays the rest directly to your doctor.
  • You pay a maximum of 468 euros per year in copay. All additional copay will be reimbursed.
  • You enjoy a whole range of discounts, for example on bus and train fares

Register with a general practitioner

Register with a general practitioner of your choosing. If you allow him to maintain your centralised medical record, you pay less for consultations with him. Ask your doctor about it.

If you need a consult with a specialist, you pay less if your general practitioner gives you a referral. For the reimbursement, bring the letter of referral and the doctor’s note from the specialist to your health insurance fund.

Stay in a double room at the hospital

Significant surcharges may apply in a single room. It is however illegal to charge surcharges in a double room or shared ward at the hospital. Be sure to ask a double room upon hospitalisation.

Ask about affordable medicines

You can save on medicines, too. Ask your doctor to prescribe by generic name instead of brand name. For over-the-counter medicines, ask the pharmacist for the most affordable product. You can save up to 40 % on medicines. Find the most affordable medication with our app (available in Dutch only).