High earnings and an adequate standard of living are the main incentives which are encouraging to move to Belgium. Have you ever wondered how particular social areas function in this country? Let’s start with the necessary things, i.e.: what does health insurance look like in Belgium.

The rules for going to Belgium do not differ from those applicable in other EU countries. First of all, you should have with you: 

  • passport or ID card
  • employment contract

Plan your trip to Belgium now!

Employment in Belgium – what to pay attention to?

The rules for living and working in Belgium are as follows:

  • for employment for up to 3 months, there is no obligation to report this fact to state institutions
  • if the stay and work in Belgium exceeds a 3-month period, it is worth reporting to the municipal / city office in order to submit an application for temporary residence 
  • a temporary residence card is issued for a maximum of 5 years, then later the person has the right to submit an application for permanent residence

Health insurance in Belgium – basic information

Similarly to other EU countries, Belgium is highly developed in terms of healthcare. According to the latest Healthcare Systems Sustainable Development Index  report, Belgium is in 10th place, and the following areas have been best assessed in this country:

  • quality and innovative treatment
  • patient support and treatment management
  • everyday functioning

Due to the fact that health insurance in Belgium is compulsory, everyone who comes to work can use the Belgian health service. Apart from that, health insurance covers:

  • the unemployed 
  • unable to work
  • women on maternity leave
  • pensioners
  • entrepreneurs

The health service is divided into two basic pillars: state and private. In turn, the state one is based on 5 institutions (Health Insurance Fund). In order to be able to benefit from medical services in Belgium, it is worth belonging to one of the following health insurance funds as listed below:

  • Christian (Christelijke Mutualiteiten)
  • Socialist (Socialistische Mutualiteiten)
  • Liberal (Liberale Mutualiteiten)
  • Independent (Onafhankelijke Ziekenfondsen)
  • Neutral (Neutrale)

As can already be seen, health insurance funds are divided according to political / religious groups. But nowadays it doesn’t really matter. You can easily sign up for each fund without taking into account your own political or religious views.

Health service in Belgium and fees

Important! In Belgium, you must be prepared to pay for any medical services. Only after the visit, the costs will be partially refunded (up to a maximum of 75%). The amount of the refund depends on the contract signed between the health insurance fund and the medical facility.

First of all, it is worth emphasizing that the prices for medical services are highly varied. It all depends on the city, region and directly from the facility.

The approximate prices for the visit are as follows:

  • Family doctor – EUR 30
  • Specialist – EUR 50
  • The first day in the hospital (the following days are about 50-60% of this amount) – EUR 40

Interestingly! When it comes to communal and social issues, Belgium is second to none. People who are actually staying in the country illegally or do not have the status of resident are also entitled to free healthcare. This only applies to special cases. Several conditions must be met:

  • the person cannot pay for medical services

has a certificate from a doctor / clinic about the need for urgent health care (free medical care facilities will be given below).

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Health insurance in Belgium and the EHIC

In the case of a tourist trip, seasonal work or a business trip, it is recommended to purchase the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). It makes it possible to cover part of the costs for foreign medical services.

Important! The EHIC is mainly used in the so-called emergency / unforeseen situations. A large portion of the expenses may not be reimbursed. What’s more, we can use the EHIC card only in facilities that have signed an agreement with the Belgian National Health Fund.

In the case of short trips, it is recommended to additionally purchase the Assistance package thanks to it you can, for example, use the help of an interpreter, arrange transport to your country in the event of an accident, and even receive legal assistance in the event of a dispute arising in Belgium. The scope of services depends on the package purchased.In case of permanent / longer stay in Belgium, we recommend using the local health services.

Health insurance in Belgium – useful links

Due to the fact that in Belgium there are 3 official languages ​​(French, Dutch and German), it is sometimes difficult to communicate with a Belgian resident. Especially if we speak only one of the above-mentioned languages ​​or none of them.

The situation is even more awkward when it comes to seeing a doctor, and the person is unable to describe his own health problems.

There exists a list of facilities / organizations that offer free medical care and advise migrants in the first stages of their stay in Belgium. Belong to them:

1.    CPAS – Public Social Welfare Center 

2.    Wijkgezondheidscentrum – community health center 

3.    Dokters van de wereld – Antwerp – free medical care 

4.    CAW – Algemeen Welzijn Center – General Aid Center

5.    Medimmigrant – medical support  for migrants

If you are looking for a permanent family doctor in Belgium, fill out the appropriate form at inami.fgov.be.

Work in Belgium, start immediately – check the latest offers

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