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Health insurance

In Belgium, health insurance is part of the social security system. Everyone has to have health insurance and must join an accredited health insurance fund. If you do not want to join a health insurance fund, then you can join the ‘Hulpkas voor Ziekte- en Invaliditeitsverzekering’ (Auxiliary Illness and Disability Insurance Fund) for free.

What could a health insurance fund do for me?

The health insurance funds cover part of the:

  • medical costs
  • dissability allowances
  • allowances during maternity leave.

Often, they also provide other services, such as:

  • home care services (cleaning services, assistance for families and the elderly)
  • the lending of equipment to take care of the sick at home.

For their members, they:

  • collect the mandatory care insurance (Flemish Social Protection)
  • request allowances from the care insurance scheme for informal carers and nursing home residents.

When do I have to join a health insurance?

You must join a health insurance fund if:

  • you are older than 25 years
  • you are younger than 25 years and employed
  • you are younger than 25 years, unemployed and receive a benefit.

On the website of the RIZIV a list of all health insurance funds(opens in new window) can be found (only available in Dutch and French), as well as a list of the costs that are covered by the health insurance funds(opens in new window) (only available in Dutch and French). For more information about which costs are covered, please contact your health insurance fund.

Where can I file a complaint?

If you have a complaint about the services provided by your health insurance fund, please first contact the fund. Each health insurance fund has its own ombudsman’s service.