Urgent medical care abroad
Are you temporarily spending time abroad? Remember to take a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) with you in order to avoid large bills for urgent medical costs.
EHIC: cover for urgent medical care
Your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is proof of the fact that you comply with the regulations on mandatory healthcare insurance. Do you require urgent medical care in an EU country, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland, Macedonia or Australia? In that case you will receive medical care subject to the same conditions and costs as those that apply to residents of that country. On the one condition that you contact doctors and hospitals that operate under the national public healthcare system.
Your health insurance provider will issue an EHIC free of charge. Don’t be misled by fraudulent websites that levy a charge. In Belgium the card is only valid for one year. Remember to apply for a new card in good time. An EHIC is personal, i.e. every member of your family will need one.
Good to know
- Your EHIC does not cover private and/or planned treatment.
- Your EHIC is not an alternative to travel insurance, for example, it does not cover repatriation costs.
- Your EHIC does not necessarily guarantee free services. Do the locals pay for treatment? In that case you will also have to pay. However, you can request a refund from your health insurance provider afterwards.
- Don’t you have an EHIC? In most cases you will have to pay locally for urgent care, but the cost will be refunded upon your return to Belgium.
Are you moving from one EU country to another EU country? This does not mean that your health insurance will automatically be valid. Exactly what you have to do will depend on your personal circumstances, the duration of your stay and your health insurance conditions. Consult your health insurance provider for further information.
Mutas and Mediphone Assist: additional cover over and above the EHIC
Your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) provides the same cover as your mandatory health insurance. Did you know that you can take out additional health insurance cover? This provides additional cover and medical care abroad. Most Belgian health insurance providers have joined forces to provide this cover via the joint Mutas project. The independent health insurance providers operate via Mediphone Assist.
Do you require a consultation, hospital admission or other urgent medical care whilst you are abroad? Contact the Mutas or Mediphone Assist emergency centre immediately. Ask your health insurance provider for further information on what exactly this additional insurance covers and which conditions apply.
Do you urgently require medication from a pharmacy? Check whether this will also be refunded.