As you prepare for your exciting study abroad experience in Belgium, your first thoughts most likely will be about what adventures you will have, rather than health matters. While these are certainly experiences you should be looking forward to, you'll first want to make sure your health care needs are taken care of. At least in case of an emergency, you'll know what to do and how you will be covered.
Depending on where you are traveling from, health care in Belgium could potentially be much different from what you are used to, so it is important to familiarize yourself with it. As you prepare for your study abroad experience, you should research the health care system in Belgium, its requirements and what your options are for obtaining health care. Medical treatment should be one of your first priorities before arrival. Now is the time to plan so you are prepared when you need to seek health care in Belgium.
It will be comforting for you to know that Belgium is widely known for having one of the highest quality medical care systems. Additionally, Belgium is regarded to be on par with other top-notch medical systems in Europe. If you are an EU student, you would be covered under the government's social security system. According to 2010's Health Systems in Transition, Belgium health system review, "The Belgian population continues to enjoy good health and long life expectancy. This is partly due to good access to health services of high quality."
Universal health care is a comprehensive health insurance program that many countries have adopted, in which the government plays a major role in regulating. Belgium offers both universal and private health care coverage. If you're from the United States, you should know that health care in Belgium is offered at a fraction of the cost you would normally pay, according to the New America Foundation. The health care system in Belgium is organized through private sickness funds.
According to the World Health Organization, Belgium spent 10.6 percent of its GDP on health care in 2011.
Like many countries, medical treatment in Belgium is divided into private or universal. Membership at one of the six national associations of sickness funds is required for citizens. As international student, you're also required to have health insurance coverage. According to Health Systems in Transition, sickness funds used to have a budget in which they could reimburse their members. As explained by Exaptica.com, with state (mutuelle/mutualiteit), you are given the benefit of choosing a physician or hospital at your preferred location, similarly to private.
According to www.he-spaak.be, ERASMUS students "are paid up
on insurance contributions in their home country and gives them free access to the Belgian medical services
According to Health Systems in Transition, sickness fund (or "mutuelle") members can expect the following:
|Europe Travel||Atlas Travel||Student Secure|
|Policy MaximumPolicy Max.||€40,000 to €6 Million||$50,000 to $2 Million||$200,000 to $5,000,000 max$200k to $5M max|
|DeductibleDed.||€0 up to €2,000||$0 up to $5,000||$25 up to $100|
|Currency||€ Euro priced||$ USD priced||$ USD priced|
|Premium||Starting at €0.54/ day||Starting at $0.79/ day||Starting at $0.79/ day|
|Learn more||Learn more||Learn more|