If you are moving to Belgium, you will probably have queries on its health care system. Here is all you need to know about health care in the country.
Health is one of the many important issues which you will have to focus on during your relocation to Belgium. You are advised to inquire on the country's health care system before moving there, as well as on health conditions regarding travel. Note, however, that Belgium has a developed and modern health care system from which you can benefit, although conditions may be different from those existing in your home country.
The Belgian social security system is closely related to health insurance. Hence, subscribing to a health insurance is compulsory in the country. In general contributions are made by employers and employees through the social security fund.
As for expatriates, there are two possibilities:
- Unemployed foreigners must subscribe to a health insurance in their home country before moving to Belgium. This will help them further in obtaining their residence permit. Note that the Belgian social security system does not cover unemployed expatriates.
- As regards foreign workers, they may choose not to contribute to the social security fund provided they are not eligible to the non-resident tax. If this is the case, their employer will handle the health insurance formalities on their behalf.
Foreigners working in Belgium are required to register with the Social Security fund by providing the following documents:
- a copy of their identity card
- a copy of their employment contract issued by a Belgian employer (the latest in case of various contracts)
- the H012 or E104 form which will be provided by their primary health insurance fund
- your Belgian bank account number
- any other document which may be requested according to your country of origin.
Complementary health insurance
Zeikefond, which is a complementary health insurance, is compulsory in Belgium. Hence, all employees and entrepreneurs have to subscribe to it along with the Social Security Scheme. Many insurance companies are available in the country. However, you are advised to refer to your employer first as some of these are restrained to specific groups of people (religious, corporate or political).
Most Belgian health insurances follow the same fee schedule and refund at similar rates. However, the repayment term may vary slightly. Note, moreover, that your employer will take all necessary measures regarding social contributions. The latter should transfer the contributions directly to the employee's selected “zeikefond”.
In fact, every employee has to contribute to the National Social Security Scheme. The employee is charged at a rate of 13.7% on his gross salary while the employer contributes a rate of 32%. Independent workers, on the other hand, are required to make their contribution each quarter.
Good to know:
Your family members (spouse and minor children) will also be covered by this insurance.
You may not make any claims to the insurance before at least 6 months. However, this does not apply to people who were covered by another person's insurance before subscribing to their own insurance or if they have been affiliated to another health insurance in a European Union country before moving to Belgium.
Health care fees
Once you have paid the consultation fees yourself, you may send the receipt to the insurance in order to receive refund. This step should be performed within 3 to 6 months following the payment. You may also subscribe to a complementary health insurance for better quality and service. You can either subscribe on your own or through your employer.
National Health and Disability Insurance Institute (NIHDI) www.riziv.fgov.be
Belgian social security – NIHDI www.inami.fgov.be
Belgium Official Portal - Health Department www.belgium.be
Federal Public Service – Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment www.sante.belgique.be
Fund of the Health and Disability Insurance (CAAMI) www.caami-hziv.fgov.be