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Recommendation for health insurance companies and a GP

Question

Hello,

I am a non-EU and will be coming to Gent University for master's degree for 2 years as an international student.

I need to apply for health insurance in Belgium therefore would like to request for recommendations of companies (state or private) with high reimbursements, and a few General Practitioners at UZ Gent hospital affiliated to that company (if possible).

I looked at websites of a few companies and contacted the support team but communication was mostly in dutch so could not understand in detail.

Also, it would really help me understand the cost structure if could provide me details costs of any general checkups like that of flu or cold etc with bifurcation of the total cost i.e. doctor's fees, medicines etc and how much will be reimbursed.

Thank you.

kasseistamper

Health insurance companies in Belgium offer identical reimbursements which are set by law. They only differ in that one might offer a better box of goodies than another when you give birth or get married and so on.
The minimum charge for each medical service is also set by law and, if your GP/dentist etc charges above that limit, it is legal to do so but the reimbursement will not be any higher.
The amounts are set out in www.riziv.be - but it is in Dutch!
GPs are not affiliated to individual insurers (mutuelle/mutualiteit).

Aug 13, 2016 08:48
AVyas

Hey Kasseistamper,

Thanks for the link it was very helpful.

I would like to further ask that, out of below companies, how would you recommend to choose an insurer? I have come across these companies on UGent website. If you have any better option please let me know.

1. Partena
2. Bondmoyson
3. CM
4. LM Vlaams Gewest
5. Securex
6. Vlaams Neutraal Ziekenfonds

Aug 14, 2016 07:24
kasseistamper

I'm glad to have helped but I don't think I can do much more for you.
I have heard of Partena and I know that the Vlaams Neutraal Ziekenfonds is 'neutral' because it is not affiliated to or supportive of any political party or religion. The others are new names for me.
I am with a Brabant regional mutualiteit because my then girlfriend (now late wife) was when I moved here. She was because her then boyfriend (now ex-husband) was when she moved here. He was because his parents were and the same applies to my 3 step-sons. And so ad infinitum. When a child is born it goes on the parents' insurance and I guess no-one ever changes unless there is a specific reason to do so.
There genuinely is nothing to choose between the various options.
I would check whether any of your list has an office on campus. If so, that will be the most convenient and, being on campus, will not give you language problems.
Otherwise, the Uni admin office for suggestions - though they may not be allowed to give a specific recommendation.
Finally, the various websites; does any of the options have the site in English and/or have a convenient branch office.

Aug 14, 2016 11:36
kasseistamper

I should have added about the GP. You can choose anyone. There is no need to register nor do you have to go to the same one every time - if you don't like your first choice, go somewhere else next time.
Also, if you need specialist treatment, you can make your own appointment - it is not essential to be referred by a GP.

Aug 14, 2016 11:40
shortof

The health insurers refund the exact same amounts for health care. Having an office nearby is quite useful, so I'd go on the nearest office.

The only differences are peripheral stuff like refunds against child care and sports club memberships or discounts at an optician. I wouldn't dwell too much on any of these extra incentives.

Aug 15, 2016 21:01
shortof

The health insurers refund the exact same amounts for health care. Having an office nearby is quite useful, so I'd go on the nearest office.

The only differences are peripheral stuff like refunds against child care and sports club memberships or discounts at an optician. I wouldn't dwell too much on any of these extra incentives.

Aug 15, 2016 21:01
shortof

The health insurers refund the exact same amounts for health care. Having an office nearby is quite useful, so I'd go on the nearest office.

The only differences are peripheral stuff like refunds against child care and sports club memberships or discounts at an optician. I wouldn't dwell too much on any of these extra incentives.

Aug 15, 2016 21:01
AVyas

Hey Shortof,
Thanks for mentioning the differences and incentives, I was confused with what they all offer differently.

Hey Kasseistamper,
Thanks for your answer and I am sorry about your wife, hope you are fine. There is UZ Gent hospital so I will contact them regarding GP and recommendations as they might have some affiliation and some schemes for UGent students, hopefully.

Apart from that, I was just thinking to go with Independent funds as, what I think, they comparatively offer lower premiums like for Partena its €23/quarter, LM VlaamsGewest its €20/quarter whereas for CM its €60/quarter and Bondmoyson €85/quarter.

Any thoughts as why is there such difference in premiums for different insurers?
Is it Politics?
Is it because of residency? For my stay I have to apply for residency of 2 years so, I think, I will be treated as Belgian resident.

Aug 16, 2016 05:39
becasse

My recollection is that there are special affiliation fees for students. Obviously the usual affiliation fee doesn't actually cover the cost to the mutuelle of medical care refunds and this shortfall is made up from government funds which in turn are funded by charges made to employees. Students obviously don't pay these charges but my recollection is that they pay a special fee which is intended to contribute. If you explain your situation to one of the mutuelle funds such as Partena they will explain what you have to pay as a student.

Aug 16, 2016 10:07
sohcahtoa

Apologies if you've done this already, but have you asked the International Office at the university for guidance? They will be used to advising people in your situation and they may even have a preferred insurance provider.

Aug 16, 2016 12:06