Hospital insurance

Belgium has a reliable national health insurance system financed by taxes and social security contributions. Everyone is required to register with a health insurance fund. You can choose which organisation to join. The sickness insurance fund will reimburse a percentage of the cost of medical treatment and prescription drugs. This obligation does not apply to staff of the European institutions. As sickness insurance does not cover the full cost of treatment, hospitalisation can sometimes result in high medical bills.  Some people therefore decide to take out additional hospital insurance. This is not compulsory, but strongly recommended.

Everyone has different requirements, and you need to take the time to compare insurance companies and the insurance policies themselves before taking out a policy.

Keeping up with medical advances and current standards of comfort

Private hospitalisation insurance is advancing in line with medical developments and modern standards of comfort. Typical examples:

  • Whereas until a few years ago it was common for private health insurance to pay back subject to at least one night of in-patient treatment, most insurance companies have now dropped this criterion. One-day hospitalisation is now also reimbursed. 
  • Alternative therapies have acquired a permanent place alongside traditional medicine. For example some companies cover homeopathic medicine or alternative treatments. Sometimes this is subject to a specific maximum.
  • Hospitals are increasingly providing child-friendly accommodation, to enable a parent to stay overnight with a child. Some policies also covers these costs.
  • Costs associated with purely aesthetic intervention are not usually covered. However, some hospital insurance policies are starting to repay the costs of specific operations, such as scar after an accident. 
  • Some policies also cover home treatment.
  • Serious illness (even without hospitalisation).

Out-patient treatment

Because of the high hospitalisation cost patients are increasingly being sent home earlier. However, this does not stop the cost of  treatment as patients continue to be treated at home by specialised services.  For this reason, some financial institutions and insurance companies also cover travel costs and costs associated with a number of serious illnesses or specific treatments, subject to certain conditions. Any bank or insurance company will provide information in advance on which treatments are covered. They may form an integral part of the hospitalisation insurance or you may have to pay an extra premium.

...and beyond the borders

Illnessor accidents do not take into account country borders. The majority of policies provide worldwide cover.  If you are hospitalised during business trips or holidays as a result of illness or accident, you will also be reimbursed. Repatriation compensation can also be provided to victims and family members.

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