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Everyone who lives or works in the Netherlands is in principle subject to the Dutch social security system. This also applies to staff members of international organisations whose headquarters are located in this country and their family members, however many international organisations have their own social security system.
If you have any questions about the General Old Age Pensions Act (AOW), the Surviving Dependants Act (ANW) and the General Child Benefit Act (AKW), please contact the Social Insurance Bank (SVB) on +31 (0)20 656 5352 or go to www.svb.nl. For more general information about the Healthcare Insurance Act, your insurance position and tax relief for people receiving pensions you can contact Mr R. van Wissel of the Healthcare Insurance Board directly:
College voor Zorgverzekeringen
Tel.: +31 (0)20 797 8796
Or you can consult the Healthcare Insurance Board website at www.cvz.nl .
Social security schemes of international organisations
Many international organisations have their own social security system. If that system offers adequate coverage and the headquarters agreement so stipulates, those to whom it applies are covered by the social security system of the international organisation. The exclusion from compulsory Dutch insurance schemes is based on the headquarters agreement of the international organisation, which sets out the privileges and immunities enjoyed by the organisation and its staff. The social security system of the international organisation should offer comparable coverage to the Dutch social security system; the system should offer health insurance, long-term care, surviving relatives’ coverage and pension coverage. Based on this prerequisite of comparable coverage the following international organisations are excluded from the Dutch social security system:
Representation of the European Commission
European Parliament Information Office
(See: Access to Social Insurance (Additional Categories of Persons) Decree 1999, (Besluit uitbreiding en beperking kring verzekerden volksverzekeringen 1999).
In many cases, the international organisation’s system applies to staff members and their dependent family members forming part of the household, who are excluded from the Dutch system. If the coverage provided by the organisation’s social security system does not extend to or provide adequate coverage for dependent family members forming part of the household, they must participate in Dutch social security schemes.
Employment of family members forming part of the household
If family members forming part of the household take up gainful employment in the Netherlands, they will be compulsorily insured under the national insurance schemes. Under the Healthcare Insurance Act, everyone who is compulsorily insured under the Exceptional Medical Expenses Act ( Algemene Wet Bijzondere Ziektekosten , AWBZ) is required to take out adequate healthcare insurance. These family members are therefore required to insure themselves under the Healthcare Insurance Act, even when the insurance system of the international organisation provides coverage.
Compulsory insurance for family members under the Dutch social security system
Certain headquarters agreements only contain social insurance provisions covering staff members, therefore family members residing in the Netherlands have to insure themselves under the Dutch social insurance system. Subsequently these family members have to take out basic insurance (basisverzekering) and are insured under the:
Exceptional Medical Expenses Act (Algemene Wet Bijzondere Ziektekosten, AWBZ);
General Old Age Pensions Act ( Algemene Ouderdomswet , AOW);
Surviving Dependants Act (Algemene Nabestaandenwet, ANW);
General Child Benefit Act ( Algemene Kinderbijslagwet , AKW).
The Healthcare Insurance Act requires adequate healthcare insurance coverage in the Netherlands even if the person is covered by the healthcare insurance system of the international organisation. As healthcare insurance under the AWBZ is linked with the other three Acts mentioned, and it is undesirable for these persons to be doubly insured, they can apply for an exemption from compulsory insurance under all four Acts. This exemption is possible if the international organisation’s healthcare insurance system entitles them to treatment, including admission to and treatment in hospitals and long-term care institutions, or compensation for the costs of such care. Their exemption applications should be submitted to the Social Insurance Bank (SVB). General information about the Dutch social security system may be obtained from the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment.