Dance therapy, among other creative arts therapies, is a regular treatment in the Dutch mental health care. It can be helpful in the guidance and treatment of adults, especially when cognitive-based therapy has hit a certain point. Or when the body is immediately the center of the complaints – e.g. stress-related tension, chronic pain, psychosomatic illness, trauma.
There are various possibilities for reimbursement for dance therapy. But, before we get there, let’s first have a quick overview of the Dutch mental health care terms.
Dutch Mental Health Care Glossary
- Aanvullende Verzekering means Supplementary Insurance on top of your Basic health insurance.
- DBC (Diagnose-Behandel Combinatie): if you have a DBC file, then you have a diagnosis according to the DSM system and you receive either 1st line (basic treatment) or 2nd line (specialized treatment).
- GGZ stands for Geestelijk Gezondeidszorg (mental health care).
- Hoofdbehandelaar (head practitioner) can be a.o. psychiatrist, clinical psychologist, clinical neuropsychologist, psychotherapist.
- Vaktherapie is the umbrella term for creative arts (occupational) therapies, including dance therapy.
So, how to get your dance therapy treatment reimbursed?
1. Reimbursement from the Basic Insurance
Creative arts therapy is an integrated component in the mental health care institution (GGZ-instelling) in the basic as well as specialised mental health care. If you’re attending therapy at an institution, then normally the costs of dance therapy are covered from your basic insurance.
As an independent dance therapist, I’m not recognized as an ‘institution’ and therefore my therapy is not covered by your basic insurance. However, it’s possible that an institution hires me as an independent dance therapist. I could then invoice the institution for the therapy I provide for the client.
If you are undergoing therapy at an institution…
and you are finding that dance therapy is what you’re missing there, be welcome to tell your hoofdbehandelaar about this program. S/he could hire me as a freelancer and you’d get dance therapy covered in your basic insurance!
2. Reimbursement from the Supplementary Insurance
There are certain things that may have a psychological character, but are not reimbursed from the basic or specialized mental health care. Reimbursement of (part of) this healthcare can sometimes be made from the Supplementary Insurance (Aanvullende Verzekering). Check with your own health insurer for their coverage for dance therapy (vaktherapie dans).
Good to know
You can change your health insurance once a year, from mid-November to end of December. I recommend health insurers that reimburse via the FVB, which I’m a member of (registration #109401). For the overview, you can check https://www.zorgwijzer.nl/vergoeding/vaktherapie#vergoedingen
And if you have referral from your GP…
If dance therapy is not included in your package while there is a clear indication for it, e.g. referral from your General Practitioner (huisarts), you can request a leniency scheme (coulanceregeling) from your health insurer. It’s not a guaranteed success, but in some cases it has led to partial reimbursement. How it works: I send you an invoice you can declare to your insurer, which may then be reimbursed (partially).
3. Reimbursement from the DBC
Warning, too many jargons: A DBC (Diagnose-Behandel Combinatie) may be opened by a practitioner registered in the BIG – which authorizes her/him to classify clients according to the DSM system. This person is called the hoofdbehandelaar and s/he can hire me to perform 20% of your treatment.
In such case, I send an invoice to your hoofdbehandelaar for your dance therapy treatment. You don’t need to worry about it.
Why should I know this?
Same as point 1 above, if you’re currently in treatment and find dance therapy is what you’ve been missing, tell your hoofdbehandelaar to hire me for 20% of your treatment.
4. Reimbursement by the municipality of Rotterdam
The municipality must conduct research into your personal situation.
Reimbursement can take place via:
PGB (PersoonsGebonden Budget – Personal Budget)
SVB (Sociale Verzekeringsbank – Social Insurance Bank)
If you have psychological problems related to war experienced by your parents or caretakers during the Second World War, you may receive a temporary reimbursement. This reimbursement is called the Temporary Reimbursement Scheme for post-war psychotherapy (Tvp). If your health insurer does not cover all costs of psychotherapy, the Tvp will reimburse the amount that you have to pay yourself.
Wlz (Wet Langdurige Zorg – Long-Term Care Act)
WMO (Wet Maatschappelijke Ontwikkeling – Social Support Act)
5. Reimbursement by the UWV (Employee Insurance Agency)
If you receive benefit via the UWV, in some cases it’s also possible to ask support for ‘reintegration therapy’. You need to request this yourself.
6. Reimbursement via Bijstandsuitkering (Benefit Payment)
If you have a minimum income and your health insurance no longer reimburses your therapy, you can apply for the assistance (especially if the therapy will increase your chance of getting paid work). You need a medical certificate from your GP!
7. Compensation from Schadefonds (damage fund) following violent crimes
If you’ve experienced e.g. theft with violence, street robbery, threats with a weapon, abuse, domestic violence, a sex crime or incest, you can request benefit through Schadefonds Geweldsmisdrijven (Damage Fund following Violent Crimes). http://www.schadefonds.nl
You must request this yourself. I’m available to assist you in the process.
8. Compensation via your Employer
If this therapy concerns your professional effectiveness, you can request assistance from your employer. Discuss this with your manager or company doctor.
Here some ideas to approach this
Why? Your health and wellbeing is of important value to your company. Your professional effectiveness and productivity cannot stand alone without your wellbeing, which includes the mental, emotional, social and physical. It is a strong reason for your company to invest in you, not only in work-related skills and career development, but also in your wellbeing as a whole person.
How? As an employee, it is your responsibility to bring this up in conversation with your manager/ boss. I recommend getting in touch with your Human Resource department to inform yourself what steps are necessary.
And don’t forget. I’m willing to support you in this conversation with your boss/ manager. But only if s/he’s not annoying.. Just kidding! I’ll do anything within my limit to support you.
9. Compensation via the emergency fund/poverty fund
If a client has too little resources, eg if s/he is receiving benefit and/or has debts, the emergency fund can be called upon in his/her respective municipality. Whether it’s granted and how much will depend on this client’s story.
The client asks for the emergency fund him/herself. As the therapist, I will be asked, with the consent of the client, to explain why therapy is necessary, frequency and costs.
10. Various support foundations in the municipality
In addition to the emergency fund, some municipalities also have foundations that help people who have little or no financial resource. E.g. the Dullert Foundation in Arnhem is an example of this.
Do you know more in Rotterdam? Kindly send me a message.
Lionsclub Rotterdam https://www.lionsclubrotterdam.nl/
Quiet Rotterdam https://quiet.nl/fonds/
11. Tax return for your incurred healthcare costs
You can reclaim treatment costs incurred as special medical expenses through the tax. The calculation of the threshold amount differs per year:
12. Compensation for students
Students at universities of applied sciences and universities have opportunities to get therapy reimbursements. You must request this yourself through the school counselor (schooldecaan).
But if I’m already seeing a uni counselor or psychologist?
Culture shock, loneliness, adaptation problem, stressful study load can make your mental health suffer! This program is complementary to the support offered by your counselor/ psychologist. Yes, it’s definitely useful to be guided in improving your mental health. What also can support you in caring for your wellbeing are a.o. genuine human connection, a sense of belonging, a space of acceptance and sharing, in a creative playful environment. And that’s what our therapy program provides!
The original document of this post is on bit.ly/ExpatWellbeingFinancing.