About your obligation to have a Health Insurance
Let us first introduce the Sociale Verzekeringsbank to you. The Sociale Verzekeringsbank, short SVB, is the authority in The Netherlands that determines who is entitled to participate in the Dutch social security system. Part of that social security system is the Dutch Health Insurance.
The SVB has decided that all foreign au pairs that live and work in The Netherlands as an au pair, are obliged to participate partially in the Dutch system. They are seen as people that work in The Netherlands and therefore au pairs are obliged to have the Dutch obligatory Health Insurance. In Dutch we call this obligatory insurance the “basisverzekering”. Practically everyone who lives and works in The Netherlands has this basisverzekering. The content of the insurance is mainly determined by the government, so there is not much to choose from.
Every au pair in the Netherlands should have the Basic Health Insurance (basisverzekering). If you already live in the Netherlands and you have a BSN number, you can apply for the basisverzekering.
Basisverzekering and deductible or "eigen risico"
There is a deductible applicable when you have the Basic Health Insurance (basisverzekering). What is a deductible? Deductible, also known as excess or "own risk", means that you don’t get a refund from the insurance company as long as the costs you make are lower than the deductible. An example to clarify: let’s say that there is a deductible of 200 euros per year. In January and March you need to see a doctor and the expenses are 50 euros for each treatment. You have 100 euros of expenses in total. Because this is lower than your deductible, the insurance company will extract the 100 euros of your deductible and won’t give you a refund. In August you need a surgery, which costs 400 euros. After extraction from your deductible, the insurance company will give you a refund of 300 euros.
So in other words, until you have reached the amount of your deductible, the insurance company will not provide a refund.
Supplementary insurances or "aanvullende pakketten"
Apart from the obligatory Basic Health Insurance (basisverzekering), you can also add a supplementary plan to your insurance. In Dutch these are called "aanvullende pakketten". However, most au pairs just meet the legal demands and arrange a basisverzekering without any supplementary plans. Should you have a disease and need extra health care (such as physiotherapy or dental care), then you can decide to add an "aanvullend pakket".
Care allowance or Zorgtoeslag for au pairs
The Dutch Tax Department offers people with a basisverzekering and a low income, a compensation. This is a compensation for the premium that you have to pay for the basisverzekering. In most cases the Zorgtoeslag is sufficient to even out the monthly premium for the basisverzekering.