Universiteit Leiden

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All residents in the Netherlands must have adequate health insurance at all times. What type of policy you need depends on the coverage you require and whether you will work do a paid internship during your studies.

What type of insurance?

All residents in the Netherlands must have sufficient health insurance. Liability insurance is also highly recommended. Make sure to check you have the correct insurance for your situation and that your policy is up to date.

Be aware that in some situations you are obliged to take out Dutch public health insurance (basiszorgverzerkering). These are:

  • You work during your studies.
  • You are a salaried PhD candidate.
  • You will do a paid internship for which you will earn at least the Dutch minimum wage.

    You can calculate the Dutch minimum wage for your age and situation via
    this online tool. The tool is only available in Dutch, however you are welcome to contact an International Student Adviser for assistance if required.

If you fall into one of these categories but do not take out the correct insurance, you risk a hefty fine. Note that as a student, you are eligible to take out Dutch public Health insurance via Leiden University’s collective health insurance agreement – see below.

If you have a student residence permit you will be asked to submit proof that you are adequately insured at the start of each academic year. This is compulsory if you wish to retain your right to a student residence permit. 

You can find detailed information about insurance requirements, types and other related issues on our health and liability insurance webpage. If you have a question about insurances or health care allowance please contact the International Student Adviser

Letter from the CAK (National Health Care Institute)

The majority of international students do not need to take out Dutch public health insurance, unless they work or do a paid internship. However after registering at your local Dutch town hall you may receive a letter from the National Health Care Institute (CAK) stating that, according to their records, you are not insured and must take out Dutch public health insurance (basiszorgverzekering) immediately. It is important that you respond to this letter within three months, even if you think you have received it by mistake, otherwise you risk being fined. Please refer to the Study In Holland FAQ on letter from CAK for information of what action to take. If you encounter any difficulties please contact the International Student Adviser.

Collective health insurance

The University has a collective health insurance agreement with Zorg en Zekerheid. If you have to take out Dutch public health insurance (basiszorgverzekering) you are entitled to participate in this collective health insurance scheme, whilst registered as a student of Leiden University and paying tuition fees.

Students can make use of the advantageous deal arranged for them by Leiden University. You can opt for a tailor-made supplementary insurance, get 10% discount on a basic insurance policy and get 15% discount on a supplementary insurance of your choice. There is even an additional 10% discount on supplementary insurances for first-time policy holders. All in all your discount on supplementary insurances can amount to 25% in 2016. At the end of each year it is quite straightforward to switch to a different health insurance provider if you wish.

More information on the collective insurance scheme can be found on the Zorg en Zekerheid webpage for Leiden University.


You can take care of all insurance matters online via MijnZZ (only available in Dutch). If you choose to do so and also pay your premiums by automatic direct debit you will receive an additional 3% discount on supplementary insurances.

Ending your studies

Once you end your student registration at Leiden University you are no longer entitled to participate in the collective insurance scheme. Your insurance will therefore be converted into a policy without collective discount.

It is compulsory to notify your insurer once your student registration comes to an end. You are responsible for making sure they have the correct information. If it should be discovered during a spot check that you are wrongly receiving collective discount your insurer will demand repayment of the premiums owed.

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