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. It is compulsory, however, from the age of 18 to pay a total mandatory excess (in Dutch: verplicht eigen risico) before the basic insurance reimburses medical costs. This principle was introduced in the Dutch Health Insurance Act (Zvw) in 2008. This mandatory excess can be increased with an additional voluntary excess (in Dutch: vrijwillig eigen risico), in exchange for a lower premium.
In 2016, the average annual premium for additional health insurance reached a value of approximately 319 euros per person.