In the Netherlands, every resident or employee is obliged to take a basic health insurance to cover medical costs from, for example, visits to a general practitioner or the hospital. The Dutch government decides on the cover provided by this package and health insurance companies are obliged to accept everyone who meets the requirements, regardless of age or state of health.
An important characteristic of Dutch health insurance, though, is the so-called "principle of social solidarity": the overall costs of health care are paid by everybody. It is since 2008, for example, compulsory from the age of 18 to pay a total mandatory excess before the basic health insurance reimburses medical costs. In this way, everybody contributes to certain types of healthcare such as maternity care. In 2017, the total mandatory excess reached a value of 385 euros.