Health care


Country Report: Health care Last updated: 21/04/23


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Recognised refugees and beneficiaries of subsidiary protection can get health insurance as soon as their status is confirmed by the CGRS. The beneficiary will have to show the electronic A or B card or the Annex 15 with proof of recognition by the CGRS if the electronic card is not issued yet.

There are two ways to get health insurance in Belgium as a refugee or beneficiary of subsidiary protection. A beneficiary can either sign up as an entitled person or as a dependent person. As an entitled person he/she can register either in the capacity as an employee or entrepreneur or on the basis of the right to residence.[1] As an employee, the beneficiary needs proof of social security submission filled in by the employer, a written declaration of the employer mentioning the social security number (an employment contract for instance) and proof of payment of social security. As an entrepreneur the only document required is a certificate of enrolment with the social insurance fund for self-employed entrepreneurs.

The other way to obtain health insurance as an entitled person is on the basis of the right to residence. This is possible when the person concerned is allowed to stay over 3 months and registered in the Aliens Register, allowed to stay for over 6 months or has an unlimited right to residence and is registered in the Aliens Register. Both an electronic A and B card are therefore valid possibilities.

Dependent persons of an entitled persons include the spouse, (grand)child, (grand)parent and cohabitant.[2] To be registered as a spouse both the marriage certificate and proof of living together have to be provided.[3] A dependent (grand)child has to be under the age of 25 and the applicant requires a birth certificate (or certificate of adoption) and live in Belgium, however it is not required that the child and the entitled person live together.[4] Living together is not required when the relationship is that of parent-child, but it is required when the entitled person is the spouse or life-partner or when the entitled person is a foster parent for instance. The dependent can prove living together with an extract from the Civil Register. To be dependent as a cohabitant there can be no dependent spouse, no entitled spouse living with the entitled person and no other dependent cohabitant.

The PCSW might pay some of the costs of medical treatment if the person concerned is in need, but the PCSW will first conduct a social investigation. This social investigation includes enquiries about the identity, the place of residence, the means of existence, the possibilities of concluding an insurance, the reasons of stay in Belgium and the right to residence.[5]




[1] Article 32 Law of 14 July 1994 on insurance for medical care and benefits, 27 August 1994, 1994071451, 21524.

[2] Article 123 Royal Decree of 3 July 1996 implementing the Law of 14 July 1994 on insurance for medical care and benefits, 1996022344, 20285.

[3] Article 124(3) Royal Decree 1996.

[4] Article 123(3) Royal Decree 1996.

[5] Circular Letter of 14 March 2014 on the minimum conditions for a social investigation in the light of the Law of 26 May 2002 on the right to societal integration and in the light of societal integration by PCSWs which is paid back by the State according to provisions in the Law of 2 April 1965, 4 July 2014, 2014011203, 51594.

Table of contents

  • Statistics
  • Overview of the legal framework
  • Overview of the main changes since the previous report update
  • Asylum Procedure
  • Reception Conditions
  • Detention of Asylum Seekers
  • Content of International Protection
  • ANNEX I – Transposition of the CEAS in national legislation