Health system for workers in Belgium

If you’ve decided to move for professional reasons or you would like to find a job in Belgium, you may have some doubts about how the health basic right works. What services they do?, what is a “mutuelle”?, is my family protected too?

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The social security system in Belgium for employed persons comprises the following branches:

• Sickness and Maternity
• Accident insurance and occupational disease
• Death grants
• Disability benefits
• Old-age
• Unemployment benefits
• Family benefits

If you are a European citizen, you should obtain a European health insurance card. This will be very useful to receive assistance while regularizing your situation in Belgium.

Basic social security contributions in Belgium is made through the salary and is in charge of the company. In the case you are freelance or self-employed, you must contribute voluntarily in a social security fund. Besides, students and newcomers who have no jobs and are living with a partner or a family member, they may register as beneficiaries in their care, as long as their income does not exceed 2,500 per trimester.

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In addition to this basic contribution, in Belgium it is always advisable to hire the services of a mutual, a separate health insurance that takes care of the reimbursement of medical benefits (around 75% of the costs incurred).

To enroll in the mutual you will need to be registered in the municipality and, in some cases, to deliver a certificate of family composition and the European health insurance card.

The “mutuelle” is responsible to activate you in the social security system, providing you the administrative formalities and reimbursement of certain medicines when ordered with a prescription. In addition, attention in pharmacies and hospitals is integrated into your residence / Belgian identity card.

Choosing mutual

The choice of mutual is free. If you have some doubts, on the INAMI (Institut National Assurance Maladie Invalidité) website are links that provide access to information about each mutual. Once chosen, it is best to seek a family doctor. In Belgium the choice is, as in the case of mutuals, totally free, regardless of where you are living.

On the website doctors are classified by municipal administrations or the language they speak. We can also turn to any clinic next to our residence and ask for the attention of a doctor. After each visit the doctor will give you a receipt document that we will send to the “mutuelle” to reimburse us certain amount.

Medical specialist

If you need care from a specialist, surely your family doctor can recommend you some. Some doctors apply the prices set by the INAMI, while others may opt for the free rate (this supplement will not be reimbursed for the mutual insurance).


In case of hospitalization, we are usually billed directly through the mutual and costs are then sent to the patient minus the amount that our statute allows.

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