Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about payments and invoices.
Where can I go with a question about my hospital bill?
Your health insurer can explain your hospital bill.
Where can I find extra information about my health insurance?
Dutch health insurers have put together an information sheet (zorgverzekeringskaart) explaining their basic (compulsory) health insurance packages (the basisverzekering). The sheet outlines the most important points: What is and is not covered under the basic health insurance package? How much is the deductible or excess (eigen risico), and how much is the personal contribution (eigen bijdrage)? Where will my insurance cover me? When does coverage begin and end? Your health insurer can tell you where to find the health insurance information sheet.
The specialist only saw me for a few minutes but I've been charged more than € 200. How can that be?
The rate charged for a treatment (in technical jargon: a 'Diagnosis Treatment Combination' – in Dutch, Diagnose Behandel Combinatie or DBC) – is based on the average cost of that treatment. In other words, the rate you are charged does not reflect the actual costs that you have incurred. The price charged for treating a broken arm, for example, is the average of all costs of treating all patients with a broken arm. It does not matter whether your arm is x-rayed once or five times. It may seem as if the hospital is charging a lot for very little effort. The opposite can also happen, however; the treatment for which a patient is invoiced may actually have cost many times more than the charges listed on the invoice.
I received an invoice through my insurer or directly from a hospital that I've never been to. How can that be?
That is because your GP (or another care professional) sent your blood or urine sample to that hospital for testing, for example. The hospital performs the tests ordered by your GP, passes the results to your GP, and sends the bill directly to you or to your insurer.
I want to know what it's going to cost me before I go to hospital. Can you provide a list of the charges?
It is often difficult to quote an accurate price for hospital treatments in advance because the costs depend on which tests you will have to undergo and your diagnosis. Most hospital treatments cost much more than the insurance deductible or excess, i.e. the charges you must cover yourself before your health insurance pays the rest. In many cases, you will end up paying the full deductible.
Will my health insurer pay for my treatment at any Dutch hospital?
This is a question you must ask your health insurance company. Payment depends on various factors, for example whether your insurance covers your treatment. It also depends on the insurance policy you have purchased from your health insurer. If the hospital does not have a contract with your health insurer, your insurance will not always cover everything.
My bill states that treatment began on a different date than the date of my first hospital appointment. How can that be?
The starting date is the date on which the first care-related activity took place. That may have been prior to your first appointment at the hospital. For example, a blood sample drawn earlier may have been sent to the lab for testing.
Why does it take my health insurer months to send me the bill for my hospital stay or treatment?
Every treatment has a different throughput time. Some are shorter and others take longer. There are statutory throughput times for invoicing treatments. Hospitals may submit invoices up to a year after treatment has concluded. The health insurers then have another 30 days to evaluate the invoice.
What is a DBC-Zorgproduct?
Dutch hospitals do not charge patients separately for each scan, injection or procedure. Instead, they charge a rate for the treatment as a whole, known as a DBC-Zorgproduct. DBC is the Dutch acronym for Diagnosis Treatment Combination. A DBC Zorgproduct is a combination of care-related activities usually undertaken to treat a certain condition, such as a broken arm. The price charged for treating a broken arm is therefore an average of all costs of treating all patients with a broken arm.
Can I go directly to a hospital or do I need a referral from my GP first?
You always need a referral to receive specialist medical care at a Dutch hospital. Your GP will only give you a referral if it is a medical necessity. Without a valid referral, you will bear the cost of any specialist care yourself.
When do I have to pay for my treatment (or part of it) myself?
There are several situations in which you will have to pay for all or part of your treatment yourself. That depends on:
- your deductible or excess (eigen risico), i.e. the costs you must cover yourself before your health insurance pays for the rest
- your personal contribution (eigen bijdrage) under the terms of your health insurance policy
- whether or not the care is insured ('uninsured care' is treatment that is not covered by your basic health insurance package and that may or may not be covered by any additional health insurance you take out)
- if you do not have a referral, for example from your GP or a specialist, you must pay for treatment yourself.
For more information, see 'What do I have to pay for myself?'
When will I have to make an advance payment for treatment?
Upon admission to hospital, Maastricht UMC+ generally asks for advance payment from patients who:
- cannot prove that they have purchased health insurance
- come from another country, unless they can submit a valid international direct debit order from their insurance company
- are scheduled to undergo uninsured care (such as eyelift or breast augmentation surgery).
Can I also pay my invoice in cash?
Although the hospital prefers payment by bank transfer, you can also pay in cash. To do so, go to the service desk, known as the Servicebureau Facilitair Bedrijf (see the interactive floorplan). The service desk is open on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. You may also pay by credit card there.
Can I obtain a list of my hospital appointments?
Yes, you can request a list of your appointments by date. You may need the list when filing your tax returns or for your health insurer. Download the form to request your list of hospital appointments here. Complete and sign the form, place it in an envelope along with a copy of a valid form of identification (passport, ID card or driving licence) and send the envelope to:
6202 AZ Maastricht
You may also bring the form and a copy of your ID to the patient records office, Bureau Patiëntenregistratie. The office is located on Poliplein level 1 (see the interactive floor plan). It will take about five working days before we can send you the list.
The patient records office is open on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- telephone number: 043 - 387 68 33 of 043 - 387 68 34
- e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Will my insurance cover the cost of an ambulance or taxi to the hospital?
Dutch insurers generally cover the cost of transport by ambulance, but it depends on your insurance policy. That is also true for the cost of transport by taxi. Check the terms of your insurance policy or contact your health insurer for information.
Will my newborn be covered under my insurance policy automatically?
You must notify your health insurer about the birth of your child as soon as possible, but within at least four months after giving birth. The same holds for an adopted child. This period is prescribed under the Dutch Health Care Insurance Act (Zorgverzekeringswet). You are responsible for informing your insurance company yourself.
After you notify your insurer, be sure to pass on the name of your child's health insurer and the insurance policy number to the patient records office, Bureau Patiëntenregistratie:
- telephone number: +31 (0)43-387 68 33 or +31 (0)43-387 68 34
- e-mail: email@example.com