How does health insurance in Belgium work?

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James Drew recounts how easy Partena Business & Expats make health insurance when you arrive in Belgium.

Whenever I arrive somewhere new, one of my first priorities has always been to ensure that my health insurance begins when I do.

Seriously, it is just one less thing to worry about when you know that you and your family are covered.

To be fair, the Belgian health-care system is well known for being quite complex (like most of the things in Belgium that are bureaucratic) but, as is usually the case, your job will normally provide you with health coverage in exchange for a portion of your salary per month (usually around 1%), and these payments will be made to the ‘mutuelles’ or ‘mutualités’ (‘ziekenfonds’ in Dutch), which are the organizations that carry out the large portion of the system’s responsibilities to its citizens.

The Belgian social security system works via the principle of everyone contributing to the system via what is known as ‘cotisations sociales/sociale bijdragen’, which is essentially the notion that employees, freelance workers, the state and companies all contribute.

And this is where Partena Business & Expats comes in. As I discovered shortly after my arrival in Brussels, Partena Business & Expats is an easy-to-understand scheme that offers financial participation in compensations regarding health-care costs or incapacity to work, which are covered by the INAMI/RIZIV (National Institute for Health Insurance) through mandatory insurance. The expat service will be ideal for you if you have come from abroad to work in Belgium on a short-term or unlimited-term period. Whatever your situation is, there are several solutions to enable you to benefit from Belgian social security, and these solutions will determine the costs that may be reimbursed and the extent of compensation that may be available due to long-term work incapacity.

More information is available on the Partena B&E website.

This article was sponsored by Partena Business & Expats.