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Health insurance in Brussels


Hello all,

I will be moving with my family to Brussels in few months. We will be 2 adults and 2 children. I would like to get health insurance knowing that my wife will not work for the first few months and I will be "detached" meaning that my employer will pay all the health benefits in my country (RO) and therefore I will not have a mutuelle. Beside the European Health Card, which only covers some basics, I have asked a quotation from CIGNA, but the price offered seems incredibly high. Do you happen to know other expats in my situation? Is there a way to make a contract on my own with any of the mutuelle administrators by paying a fee? Do you know any other international company that offer health insurance in Brussels?
Thank you in advance,




I was quite serious about the legality of this - I don't understand why the comment has gone.

If you are detached, you stay resident in Romania, and you pay tax and social security there. You are not "moving" to Belgium, so you can't bring the family, as they have no means of support in Belgium.

The EHC only covers emergency treatment.

Work legally, pay tax and social security in Belgium

Jun 1, 2015 11:48

I agree with J.

Belgium, with its registration system, is one of the strictest in Europe when it comes to residential status.

Either your employer moves you to Belgium and pays you here (at Belgian rates) so that you can register, or you remain resident in Romania and work here on a temporary basis, staying but not residing in Belgium.

If you can't register, not only will health care be limited to the emergency cover provide by the EHIC but you will find other aspects of day-to-day living, like opening a bank account, running a car or even finding somewhere to live, very difficult.

Jun 1, 2015 13:30

If the family are moving to Brussels as 'detached' to the EU (Detached National Expert), it will be perfectly legal to do it this way, but I think you can be eligible to join a mutuelle too. Although as I have never done it, I don't know how you do it..the relevant institution should have more guidance, but sometimes, googling is quicker.

Jun 1, 2015 13:56

It seems to me that this is a problem for your employer to deal with.
If your employer wants you to move your family to Brussels, even though you will then be 'detached' back to Romania for some time, it is up to them to make sure that your situation is legal as far as the Belgian authorities are concerned and that you and your family have adequate medical cover. If they cannot - or will not - then you should reconsider whether you want to move.

Jun 1, 2015 14:58

George, it would be helpful if you could confirm what you mean with "detached"? Are you indeed going to be a SNE - Seconded National Expert / END - Expert national détaché at the European Commission (or another EU institution)? If so, the set-up you describe is perfectly legal. You will live and work in Brussels, but will continue to be paid by your employer in Romania, and will remain covered by the Romanian social security system (including health insurance).

However, you can obtain supplementary cover for yourself and your family from a Belgian health insurance fund (mutualité/ziekenfonds). They are used to dealing with expats in this situation. For example Partena seems to have a dedicated service for this: and I'm sure they are not the only one.

If by "detached" you mean some other set-up entirely, the above most likely is not valid for your situation.

Jun 1, 2015 15:14

Hello George, welcome to the forum, the health care system here is excellent, if you can join a Mutuelle the cost is pretty much covered and you can buy top up insurances. You usually pay after treatment and the cost is not as high as say the USA.
However you say that's not the case that you will join a mutelle. That is a shame because then you would all be covered for a lot of things. If I were you I would seek clarification from your employer because they should understand what they will pay and what other cover they suggest. If they are suggesting you come in this manner then they have ought to have a duty to ensure you are covered or understand how that happens I would suggest ask them if they have other people in a similar position that they can put you in contact with.
I as a trailing spouse get my cover via my husbands work., it's not worth me working unless I can earn a high enough salary to cover health insurance high taxes etc. that can be quite a lot of money so I don't work.
Here is an article from the bulletin on health care here.
All the best

Jun 1, 2015 19:11

I missed the "detached" bit. The normal meaning of this is implies that your employer is the Romanian government or some branch of the (possibly European) civil service. If this is the case, they pay your healthcare insurance.

> If by "detached" you mean some other set-up entirely
Then I am pretty sure that if you're expecting to be here for more than 6 months, the setup is illegal from day 1.

Jun 1, 2015 20:24
George Mihailescu

Hello All,

Thank you for your answers. I did some more research. It's called "posted" worker. Please see more details here:

My employer offered to pay for insurance, however the budget for the entire family will be around 200 EUR per month. My question remains, since I am not familiar with the Belgian healthcare system: can I join a mutuelle if I have A1 and S1 european forms? Does anyone knows about this?

Jun 1, 2015 21:22
George Mihailescu

And I forgot to ask: will be this budget enough for a family of 4 to sustain a top-up insurance on top of mutuelle, provided that I will be able to join one?

Jun 1, 2015 21:35

Yes you can join a mutuelle on those forms, we did. They prove you pay social security in another EU country which entitles you to join a mutuelle in Belgium. It is not obligatory, but I'd do it, given the benefits.
It costs less than 10 euro per adult per month. Children no cost.
But if you are here posted for longer than 90 days AND you're not on special status, you'll have to register your presence in Belgium.
If you are paid from another EU country, then you fill in a blank annual tax return, with proof you pay tax and social security in another EU country.
A top-up insurance, a hospitalization insurance, well you can get a quote from a mutuelle for that or go to another private insurer like DKV. No idea of costs, I get mine for free and pay an extra 25 euro per month for the children through my employer who uses DKV.

Jun 2, 2015 09:42