Health insurance: A must-have, an essential, quintessential, if you will. Though having health insurance is important, having a health insurance allowance is even better.
Living and studying in Holland means you have to check off certain boxes. For example, you need insurances like health insurance. Health insurance is actually required if you are working. Even if you aren't, it's a good idea to get one. However, health insurance can be a bit expensive. Therefore, you should think about applying for health insurance allowance. Let's talk about the mistakes you should avoid making when applying for health insurance allowance...
1. Not knowing about health insurance allowance in the first place
Health insurance allowance (sister to the housing allowance) is pretty straightforward. It basically means you can receive an allowance for your health insurance. Your monthly insurance bill is then partially covered by the Dutch government. This depends on whether or not you meet the criteria for it.
But first, you need health insurance to actually apply for healthcare allowance.
If you are an EU student, you might have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). Then you won't need to apply for additional health insurance (though an EHIC only really covers the most basic healthcare). If you're non-EU, you'll need another type of health insurance. In this case, you could apply for Dutch health insurance. Sometimes your healthcare provider back home covers your stay in Holland but this is not always the case! EU students also need health insurance if they don't have any back home. You can now easily sign up for health insurance through College Life.
2. Not checking if you have a toeslagpartner
Major mistake not checking if you have a toeslagpartner. What the hell is a toeslagpartner, you ask (so did we, check it out here). A toeslagpartner, or supplementary partner, is someone you apply for allowances with. Your partner is usually either your spouse (husband, wife, partner) or someone who is registered at the same address. This might be the most likely scenario in your case. For example, your partner could be a brother or housemate living at the same address as you.
Why does this matter then?
The amount of allowance you can receive depends on your and your partner's income. That's why each situation is different. You can read more about toeslagpartners in this blog post where you can also calculate the amount of allowance you can get.
3. Not knowing the requirements
Basically, before you do anything else, you should know the requirements for getting health insurance allowance. You need to be paying public health insurance in Holland (basisverzekering). You also have to study in Holland and be under 30 years old. If you are over 30, you just need to study and have an internship, part-time job or traineeship with a monthly salary.
And listen up people: if you are privately insured, you cannot apply for healthcare allowance.
4. Not knowing the application procedure
You need one thing: your DigiID. This is the personalized ID you get when you get your BSN number. You need to use your DigiID to log into the allowance website to apply for your healthcare allowance. Sadly, like most government websites, it's all in Dutch. You can use Google Translate or something like that to translate the site.
5. Not getting the most out of your health insurance allowance
Applying for and receiving benefits can sometimes be a bit confusing. But with the College Life allowance calculator, getting the help you need just got easier. Check it out here.
Simple, right? What we are trying to get at here is that the mistake you want to avoid basically is not knowing anything about healthcare allowance... In truth, if you know what you are applying for and how the process works, you'll be absolutely fine!
Do you have any tips and tricks for applying for allowances?