It is almost 2021 – I am sure a lot of us can’t wait for 2020 to be over.

This also means there are only a few days left to make some important changes; if they apply to your situation.

Things to do before the year ends:

  • Switch health insurance provider
  • Check child care benefits
  • What else will change in 2021? (Brexit, taxes)
  • Corona update


In the Netherlands everyone is obliged to have health care insurance (=zorgverzekering).

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. The average monthly payment for the basic insurance is €122.75. Children are covered for free through the health insurance of their parents.

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. You will need the additional insurance if, for example, your child needs braces, you are interested in alternative healthcare, or in additional sessions of physical therapy, a more extensive child birth package, or travel vaccines.

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, for example, 150 euros on health care; you pay this 150 euros and not the 385 euros.

On top of that you could 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 health care 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 2021; 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.

On the website of the tax office (Belastingdienst) you can make a trial calculation of how much rebate you could expect. The number of hours that you are entitled to daycare support also depends on the number of hours that you (and your partner) work: multiply the number 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 table on the bottom of this page, you can get an idea of how much money you’ll get back. The lowest income brackets get 96% of the daycare costs back for their 1st child and also 96% for the 2nd and further children. The highest incomes get 33.3% back for their 1st child and 67.6% for the rest. There are in total about 70 income brackets with each their own return percentage.

It is very likely that this system will change again in 2022.
* Kinderbijslag (child benefit): All parents who pay taxes in the Netherlands, receive an amount of money to cover some of the costs related to having a child. Kinderbijslag is the same amount for everyone. It’s not dependent on your income. Kinderbijslag is paid every quarter by the SVB.

When you register with the municipality upon your arrival in the Netherlands, they will automatically send a notification to the SVB.

In case this goes wrong, you can also claim it here (in English).

This is what you can expect:

Age child Amount of allowance per 3 months, per child
0 – 5 years old € 221.49
6 – 11 years old € 268.95
12 – 17 years old € 316.41


  • You can’t have missed it; on January 1st, Brexit will will take effect. Iamsterdam describe what the consequences might be for you. The Chamber of Commerce (KvK) helps businesses deal with these changes.
  • The transfer tax you will have to pay when purchasing a home is going to change per January 1st as well. You will pay 2% tax when you will be living in this house yourself, and 8% when it is a vacation home or other type of property.
  • Other tax related issues that will change in 2021 you’ll find here.


Unfortunately, the pandemic won’t just disappear when the clock strikes 12 on December 31st.

These corona measures still apply:

Sadly, the Netherlands is in lockdown until January 19th. This means that the non-essential stores are closed, as well as bars & restaurants, museums, cinemas, indoor sports facilities, schools, and many more places where people gather.

Vulnerable children, the children of parents with essential jobs, students in their exam years (including group 8), and students of the newcomer classes may go to school in-person from January 4th. The rest will follow their education online.

People are only allowed to receive a maximum of two guests per day. This also applies to New Year’s Eve. Children up to 12 years old are excluded from this rule.

Everyone of age 13 or older needs to wear a face mask inside of stores and public buildings, as well as on public transport.

This year, to take the pressure off the already overcrowded hospitals and ICUs, fireworks are forbidden on NYE.

The Dutch vaccine program will start on January 8th. The politicians still seem to struggle deciding who may go first; the most vulnerable people, or the health care workers helping these people.

Travellers who arrive in the Netherlands (including Dutch nationals), need to show a negative PCR test, which may not be older than 72 hours upon arrival. Some countries with lower risks are excluded.

Everyone who arrives in the Netherlands, should quarantine for the first 10 days, also when you have a negative test. More info on the website of the government (Rijksoverheid).

Do you have Covid symptoms and do you need to get tested? Call the GGD in your municipality asap. This is the testing info for Amsterdam.

More info you can find on the government website, the New2NL website, and on the NOS in English Facebook page.
On the New2NL website you can also watch webinars on the Dutch education system in times of Corona.

The government has created various relief and recovery packages for businesses and individuals who are struggling with a loss of income or revenue due to Covid.

There are some things you can still do these days in Amsterdam. Most restaurants have takeaway menus -some of them being very fancy-, and through Support Your Locals you can buy high quality local ingredients, which the suppliers can’t sell to the bars and restaurants at the moment.

Will you MOVE TO THE NETHERLANDS soon to start your new dream job, or to give your children a lot of new experiences?

Through the Guide2NL you will find all services you need!

For example, first let Expatrentals find a suitable house for you.
Tips4Expat will help you prepare and get you started. While you are waiting for the sea container with your furniture to arrive, Furniture Lease will make sure you won’t need to sit on the floor. Kroes Advocaten Immigration Lawyers will help you with all legal aspects of your move.
Do you want to learn Dutch to understand better what is going on around you? Find a Flowently tutor here.
Of course New2NL will help you find a school for your children.

Did you know that with ABN AMRO you can open a bank account fully online, without a BSN? This is especially advantageous if you have to quarantine upon your arrival first. Download their app here.



Stay healthy and stay safe!


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