To do before 2018 ends

It is almost 2019. This means there are only a few days left to make some important changes before 2018 ends; if they apply to your situation.

Things to do before the year ends:

  • Switch health insurance provider

  • Check child care benefits (=kinderopvangtoeslag)

  • What else will change in 2019? (taxes, preschool, rental to tourists, and scooters in Amsterdam)


Group of hospital doctors over Health care clinic background.


In the Netherlands everyone is obliged to have health care insurance.

January 1st is one of the rare occasions that you may switch to a different health insurance provider. There are many websites where you can compare the insurances, for example the Consumentenbond, which is probably one of the most objective websites. The best offer depends on your personal situation, your family composition, and what type of care you need.

Health insurance consists of three parts: basic insurance (=basisverzekering), the optional additional insurance (=aanvullende verzekering), and dental insurance (=tandheelkundige zorg).

The contents of the basic insurance have been assembled by the government and are the same for every insurance company.

There are various additional insurance packages that offer you more coverage, for a higher monthly fee. The insurance companies establish the contents of these packages and the corresponding fees themselves.

Be aware, the ‘eigen risico’ (own risk) of 385 euros has been decided by the government and is the same for every basic insurance. This means that you have to pay the first €385 of your health care consumption yourself. For some treatments, like the GP (=huisarts), midwife (=verloskundige), and dental care (=tandarts) for children up to 18yo, the own risk doesn’t apply (they are always covered).

If you don’t make much use of health care, you’ll only have to pay parts of the own risk -if you only declare 150 euros on health care; you pay this 150 Euro and not 385 euros.

On top of that you can choose for a higher voluntary own risk (=vrijwillig eigen risico), which will lower your monthly fee.

Please note: most insurance companies offer the possibility to spread the payments of the eigen risico over the year (=gespreid betalen), so you don’t have to pay 385 euros at once.

Some treatments you have to pay partly yourself (=eigen bijdrage). For example, some insurances only cover max. 45 euros per person per day for alternative medicine. The rest of the costs you’ll have to pay yourself.

Sometimes you can get a collective discount (=collectiviteitskorting) through your employer or (charity) organization.

Then you also have the choice between a restitutiepolis, a naturapolis, a combinatiepolis, and budgetpolis. Of these four insurances the restitutiepolis is most expensive, but it gives you the freedom to select the health care provider or hospital that you like. The naturapolis is cheaper, but you can only go to those health care providers with which your insurance company has a contract – you would like to check this beforehand. The budget insurance is the cheapest of the three, but here your options for providers are much more limited, and you’ll have to arrange most insurance issues online. The combinatiepolis is a combination of the naturapolis and the restitutiepolis.

Please note: in case of emergency you can always go to any hospital.

People with a lower income may qualify for ‘zorgtoeslag’; a contribution towards the costs for health care.


– CHECK CHILD CARE BENEFITS (=kinderopvangtoeslag)

When both parents work or follow an official study or when a single parent works/studies, you can most likely apply for a tax rebate for daycare.

If you already receive this tax rebate, don’t forget to inform the tax office (=Belastingdienst) of any changes in your child care situation. Think new hourly fees in 2019; more/less hours your child will spend at daycare; switch to after-school care (=BSO); but also any expected changes in your household income. If you provide the tax office with the correct information beforehand, you won’t risk paying back parts of the rebate at the end of the year. You can make your changes (wijzigingen) on the website of the Belastingdienst. Login with your DigId.

Contrary to previous years, from 2019, your tax rebate for daycare will be based on your income of two years ago. In this way your monthly payments will be more accurate and there will be fewer nasty surprises at the end of the tax year. In case your income is currently lower than two years ago, you can ask for a compensation.

On you can make a trial calculation of how much rebate you could expect. The number of hours that you are entitled to day care support also depends on the number of hours that you (and your partner) work: multiply the amount of hours that the least working parent works by 140% for daycare, and 70% for after-school care (BSO). The maximum amount of hours for the rebate is 230 hours per month.

In the tabel on the bottom of this page you can get an idea of how much money you’ll get back.

The lowest income brackets get 94% of the daycare costs back for their 1st child and 95% for the 2nd and further children. 

The highest incomes get 33.3% back for their 1st child and 64% for the rest. There are about 70 income brackets with each their own return percentage. 



  • Other tax related issues that will change in 2019 you’ll find here.
  • Preschools in Amsterdam: From 1 January 2019, children from age two may go to preschool (this used to be from 2.5yo) for 16 hours per week. 

Also the costs for preschool are based on your household income. Everyone gets either a tax rebate or a contribution from the municipality. Parents who have a lower income, and/or whose children have a VVE-indication pay less. Children can get a VVE-indication when they have a language delay in their home language(s), or when their parents are lower-educated. 

Here you can see how much you will have to pay for preschool in Amsterdam in 2019.

You may apply for preschool from age 1.

On Wednesday, 23 January you can visit a couple of preschools, and ask a lot of information on the Day of the Voorschool. More info you can read here.


  • From 1 January 2019, Amsterdammers may only rent out their house to tourists for 30 days per year.


To do before 2018 ends


  • And most likely 2019 will also become the year in which scooters will be moved from the bike path to the road. They will also be obliged to wear a helmet then. This has been an ongoing discussion for years, and who knows this will actually happen… Read this article by DutchReview on the pros and cons of banning scooters from the cycle paths.



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