Even as an expat, you will be entitled to subsidized healthcare in Belgium. We will guide you how to access Belgian healthcare and claim your reimbursements.
If you live and work in Belgium, you typically receive coverage by state Belgian healthcare if you carry out the compulsory registrations. To access healthcare in Belgium, you need to register for social security.
This really is the first step.
To benefit from cover under mandatory healthcare and indemnity insurance, you need to be a member of an insuring organisation, either as a policyholder or a dependant.
You will then be able to receive various allowances, including:
refunds for consultations with a doctor
fixed allowances for hospitalisation
the payment of allowances in the event of being unable to work or pregnancy/maternity
Health funds & European health Insurance
Now that your social security is sorted, you can choose a mutuelle/ziekenfonds.
You are always free to choose which office to work with. If you are new it can be usefull to know what is available, here below are all options to choose from:
From now on, your health bills will be partially refunded by the government.
Of course, you may also choose to visit private doctors, in which case you should take a private health insurance or pay in full. Some health care specialists will provide both private and state-funded treatment, so do check which one he or she is offering.
Why do the fees differ between doktors?
What is the difference between a general practitioner and a specialist? Why do they charge different fees? Is it normal for the price of a consultation to differ from one doctor to another, whereas they practise the same area of specialisation?
The fees charged by doctors may differ, depending on:
the category to which they belong (qualified, in training, etc.)
the area of specialisation (dermatology, gynaecology, paediatrics, general medicine, etc)
the place of the consultation (at the doctor’s practice, at home, etc.)
the time of the consultation (evening, weekend, etc.)
Are you looking for a specialist?
It is possible to book an appointment directly at a specialist, you do not need a referral from your GP but it will always be cheaper if you do get that referral.
Emergency numbers in Belgium
In Belgium, there are two main emergency numbers for urgent assistance:
112 for ambulance and fire
101 for police.
112 is also the European emergency number.
If you are travelling in Europe, you can call 911 for both the fire brigade, a medical team and the police.
What is the European Health Card
A free card that gives you access to medically necessary, state-provided healthcare during a temporary stay in any of the 27 EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, under the same conditions and at the same cost (free in some countries) as people insured in that country.
Important – the European Health Insurance Card:
is not an alternative to travel insurance. It does not cover any private healthcare or costs such as a return flight to your home country or lost/stolen property,
does not cover your costs if you are travelling for the express purpose of obtaining medical treatment,
does not guarantee free services. As each country’s healthcare system is different services that cost nothing at home might not be free in another country.
Where can I get this card?
Cards are issued by your national health insurance provider.