News - April 24, 2017

International students once again properly insured

Albert Sikkema

Soon, international students of WUR will not be required to pay a deposit at the Gelderse Vallei hospital anymore to receive care. WUR has been able to negotiate and buy an insurance with Aon that covers all costs of healthcare.

Photo: Gelderse Vallei hospital

Starting 1 January 2016, the hospital in Ede required international students and PhD candidates of WUR to pay a deposit of 300 euros as their healthcare insurance did not cover all costs. This insurance often failed to cover all costs of chronic disorders, pregnancies and psychological distress. Consequently, the Gelderse Vallei spent large amounts of time collecting healthcare costs and therefore set a deposit of 300 euros. This led to additional costs and hassle for international students, as they had to put down a large sum of money for even a simple blood test and had to find out how to have the costs compensated – even if only in part. International PhD candidates initially had the same problem, but they were able to buy a policy with a wider coverage from Aon starting last September.

No more deposit
WUR now has reached an agreement with Aon on a new insurance for all PhD candidates and students that also covers existing disorders, pregnancies and psychological distress. Starting 1 September 2017, Aon offers a Complete + package for a monthly fee of €58.80. The Gelderse Vallei hospital is so positive about this approach, they decided to stop asking international students of WUR for a deposit as soon as 1 May. Tijs Breukink, member of the Executive Board at WUR and member of the Supervisory Board at Gelderse Vallei, played a mediating part in the process.

New students
The expanded insurance will be available to all new international master’s students and PhD candidates who will start at WUR from 1 September. The students and PhD candidates who are already registered will keep their old insurance policy, Aon Complete. The only possibility to exchange the old insurance policy for the new one is by interrupting the insurance period, for example by staying in their native country for some time. If they do not visit the Netherlands for at least a year, they will have the opportunity to buy a Complete + package upon their return to Wageningen.

With this expanded insurance, international students should receive full and unlimited healthcare. In the past year, this was not the case on multiple occasions. Students were confronted with higher medical costs or even had to interrupt their study to be treated in their homeland, although this was not specifically necessary from a medical point of view.

The Student Service Centre can buy the new insurance from 1 May. At the end of May, Aon will give a presentation in Wageningen on the new Aon Complete + package.

Additional reading (partly in Dutch):