New Health Insurance: Frequently asked questions after three weeks

As of January 1st 2011 there is a new health insurance system. Naturally, there are many questions regarding the new health insurance. In order to facilitate all the insured, we have made an inventory of frequently asked questions with the answers thereto. 

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The general practitioner gives you a referral letter in case of paramedical and specialist care. With this referral you can visit for example a physical therapist, lab, hospital or a specialist recommended by the hospital. For specialist care outside the hospital or care outside the Dutch Caribbean your general practitioners will give you temporary guarantee letter. You are required to leave the guarantee letter behind with the care provider outside the Dutch Caribbean. If you do not have proof of guarantee you will be required to personally cover the costs for the treatment. Therefore, if you must travel abroad for care, see to it that you are always in the possession of a referral and a guarantee letter from your general practitioner.

Medical referral/Passport

The general practitioner is required to submit the request for a medical referral. You are required to collect the ticket yourself at the travel agency or airline company. For medical referrals within the former islands of the Netherlands Antilles you may travel with your ID card.

In case of medical referrals outside of the islands of the former Netherlands Antilles it is important that the insured have their passport in order. Therefore the Health Care Office is advising you to ensure you are always in the possession of a passport. All insured persons who must receive medical referrals, must have a bank account where, upon referral, the allowances can be deposited. The deposit of these amounts, depending on your bank or island, can take 2 to 10 workdays. In case of urgent medical referrals the Health Care Office will assist the insured with the necessary solution.

Hospital admittance

The insured is entitled to admittance in a room equipped with air-conditioning and insect repellent devise. If air-conditioning and insect repellent devise are not available in a certain class you are entitled to be admitted in a class where this is available.

Supplementary insurance for a higher class is not necessary. You are namely entitled to hospital admittance with air-conditioning and insect repellent devise.


For the time being, the Health Care Office covers all medicines that were included in the former BZV – SVB list with exception to simple painkillers and drugstore articles. Take note: with your ID-card you can go to all pharmacies on Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba.

Please check if your medicine in supply. If you are using medication and are staying outside the Dutch Caribbean (therefore also on Curacao and St. Maarten) take the following medications with you. If your are required medically to purchase medicine this will be reimbursed by the Health Care Office.


Children residing abroad are insured only if had to leave the Dutch Caribbean for study purposes. They can register with the Health Care Office. Conditions for registering: prior their studies they should have resided on one of the islands of the Dutch Caribbean.

Because nowadays each student can regulate almost everything digitally, the Health Care Office is working to meet the needs of the students as much as possible. Owing to this the most information for students and the health insurance can be found via de website, under the heading care. The Health Care Office advises students to monitor the website. Besides, they can also collect an information folder at the counter of the Health Care Office.


If you need to take a vacation ensure you take out a travel insurance. The Health Care Office covers only costs for emergency help abroad. Emergency care means: help after an accident or an acute need. But pay attention, the compensation is in principle not more that what it costs in the Dutch Caribbean. For example, in the Netherlands and the Unites States the costs for emergency care are notably higher.

Not registered, but employed

Persons not residing on Saba, St. Eustatius or Bonaire but who are in service of one of the three islands and pays taxes on these islands are also insured. These persons are requested to register at the Health Care Office. When registering these persons must have with them: a valid form of identification, a work permit, an employer’s declaration and a salary receipt.

You are not in our insurance system

If you are not registered in our insurance system, you may visit the Health Care Office with proof of your IND admittance and or proof of inscription at the Census Office, a valid ID-card or passport. We will then look at your case.