Expats : do not forget to apply for healthcare insurance !

29 July 2018

Expats : A guide to the healthcare system in Belgium.
Diplomat, employee, freelance, seconded, border worker…have you come as an expat to live, work or study in Belgium? It is mandatory to be registered at a Belgian mutual insurance fund (called “mutuelle” in French). By paying social security contributions, you benefit from a healthcare cover in case of sickness, accident or hospitalisation. But before choosing your provider, let us give you more insight into the Belgian social security system.

Do I need a mutual insurance fund ?

Whether you are an employee or a freelancer, you must be registered at a Belgian mutual insurance fund if the majority of your work activity takes place in Belgium. By doing this, you benefit from reimbursements related to healthcare and compensation if you are unable to work. In accordance with the European law, each worker benefits from social security in their country of work (or where they work the most) but cannot be affiliated to several social security systems.
In Belgium, you have to be registered at a “mutuelle” (mutual insurance fund). Every dependant person must also be registered under your account.

What is a mutual insurance fund ?

Belgian social security is financed by subsidies from the State and by ONSS cotisations*, which are directly deducted from your income (salary if you are an employee, social laws if you are a freelancer).
The “mutuelle” acts as an intermediary between the INAMI* and the affiliated members. It ensures :

  • reimbursements for health care (hospital, physician, pharmacy, …)
  • compensation when you are unable to work (accident, long-term illness, childbirth, …)

This is covered by the mandatory insurance (“assurance obligatoire”).

In addition to these benefits, health care providers offer further additional insurances that cover many other advantages, reimbursements and services (equipment lending, social support, hospitalisation and dental insurance, financial participation in sports clubs memberships, …). These advantages vary for each mutual insurance fund and are financed by the cotisations of the affiliated members.

Administrative steps

Partena Business & Expats is a mutual insurance fund without any political affiliation. We are a member of the Union des Mutualités Libres de Belgique (union of apolitical mutual insurance funds).
No matter your profile or situation, there is a solution so you can benefit from healthcare insurance in Belgium.
We are there to help you register for social security and can take care of the formalities with the Belgian administrations.
If you are an expat and you would like some peace of mind when it comes to your health cover, Partenamut offers free advice !


*Glossary
ONSS : Office National de la Sécurité Sociale
INAMI : Institut National de l’Assurance Maladie Invalidité

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