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Idiots guide to healthcare and antenatal care in belgium?

(7 Posts)
littlealien01 Thu 23-Jul-15 21:57:20


We are moving to belgium in the next month! And i still cant get my head around how this all works.

Dh will be working. I will be at home with dd 18 months and am expecting no. 2 early next year.

Dh has hospitalization insurance with contract which seems to cover anything serious for all of us.

But how the hell do basic drs/ dentists work? What do we need to pay? Can we pay monthly so its then free when we need it??

And where does antenatal stuff fit?

Im very tired and keep reading guides and glazing over and getting confused. Ive clearly been spoilt by the simplicity of the nhs.

If someone could spell out to me in idiot speak what we need to do id be very grateful.

cannotseeanend Fri 24-Jul-15 21:48:29

It will cost you roughly 110 per year each, so 220 for the 2 adults. Children are free. That is "complimentary insurance", silly name as it is obligatory for Belgian social security payers. That covers roughly 80% of costs.

For GPs, so long as they opt in to the health system called "conventionne" expect to pay 24 to 30 euro per visit, getting 18 euro refunded in about a week. OR sign up to a single GP called "global file" and you'll pay only the difference, so if your GP charges 24 euro, you hand over just 5 euro instead.

For dentists, they tend to want to charge more, but again for conventionne ones, the majority, you'll pay upfront and get a considerable reimbursement. General children's treatment can be had for free. You get incentives to go regularly in the reimbursement system. I am lucky, my dentist never charges me in full, no globalisation for dentists, my dentist waits for me to be refunded then I pay! It's not usual but essential if on low income.

Hospitalization, it's variable and depends on choice of hospital,

There is a maternity hospital called Edith Cavell, excellent but private and charges more than any other hospital in Belgium. It is the hospital of choice for EU civil servants, as they are fully insured!!! If you want to save money, for a normal delivery, you might pay as little as 100 euro in total, even without hospitalization. Depends on the hospital and any complications. If you give birth at home, you'll actually be paid to do so.

Most Belgians choose a gynae attached to a hospital for ante natal, but you can instead choose a GP or a midwife, the choices are becoming less regimented. It's entirely up to you what you choose. There are 3 groups of midwives I know who do ante natal in Brussels in English. There are only a few hospitals where midwives deliver however. In Brussels, Edith Cavell, Erasme and St Jean I think are the only ones.

You will find health care quite cheap here, so long as you have paid your 110 euro per year basic insurance.

amyboo Fri 24-Jul-15 21:58:33

Healthcare is pretty easy here and the medical system is excellent!

Hospitalisation only covers stays in hospital and emergency care. It would cover your childbirth for example (just be careful as some won't cover this straight away) but wouldn't cover your antenatal scans.

For all normal medical insurance you will need to join a mutuelle. Your husband's social security contributions then make up your cover (plus you pay around €35 a quarter directly to your chosen mutuelle). This then covers you for all other medical things, including specialist treatment and dentists. When you visist a doctor you pay them for the appointment (around €25-35 for a GP and up to €60 for a specialist). They give you a green paper which you then post to your mutuelle. They reimburse you around 85% of the cost directly into your bank account - takes around 5 days. Be warned though, there are ceilings, so it's not always 85% of what you paid.

For pregnancy, you will need to pick a gynaecologist. He/she will see you theoughout your pregnancy and then deliver your baby at the end. Different gynaes are attached to different hospitals, so you will have to deliver where he/she is affiliated. Your medical appointments and scans are all refunded by the mutuelle but the birth would be covered by the hospitalisation insurance.

You are free to pick whichever gynae you want. You can also change if you don't like them and it's the same for all other doctors, dentists etc. Many people chose to see a paediatrician with their kids - you just pick who you want to see.

Hope that helps smile

amyboo Fri 24-Jul-15 22:02:59

Just to set you straight cannotseeanend EU civil servants are not fully covered at Cavell. We now have hospitals which have agreements with the EU institutions and some which don't. None of the CHIREC group (which includes Cavell) has signed an agreement. So our cover has a ceiling. And I can tell you (as someone shortly facing a 3rd C-section), that they won't 100% cover the costs of my stay at Cavell. So, I am instead using mg husband's DKV hospitalisation insurance whih covers 100% of my stay.

Steadycampaign Sat 25-Jul-15 15:56:08

travelling so not much time to answer but have a look




Good luck!!

American Embassy in Belgium also has comprehensive list of English speaking medical practicioners here

littlealien01 Sat 25-Jul-15 20:45:52

Thanks everyone, some really helpful explanations smile

Longtime Tue 28-Jul-15 16:52:45

Little alien, join the BCT! It's a great organisation for English speaking families. They also do antenatal classes. The website is if you google it.

We also have a Facebook page for Benelux mumsnetters if you fancy joining. Pm me if you do. It's a secret group though so you won't be able to find it.

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