I am going on holidays. Do I have to take documents with me?
  • The compulsory insurance provides documents for a ‘temporary stay’, which you can show in the country you are staying in when you need urgent medical care. Thanks to these documents, medical expenses will be billed directly to your health insurance fund, and you will only need to pay a small amount (the patient's share).
  • These documents cannot be used for programmed care (i.e. when the main or accessory goal of your travelling abroad was to receive medical care).
     
  • You can use the European health insurance card (EHIC) within the European Union, in Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein. You can also use it in North Macedonia  and Australia (please refer to "All you need to know about the EHIC" for more information).
     
  • There are special forms for a ‘temporary stay’ in Albania, Algeria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Morocco, Serbia, Tunisia, and Turkey.
    • In Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia you cannot receive these documents if you do not have the belgian nationality or the nationality of the country where you are going to. 
    • In Algeria and Morocco the bilateral treaty does not apply to the self-employed. If you are concerned, you cannot receive these forms.
       
      COUNTRY Document
      Albania BE-AL 111
      Algeria B-Alg 8
      Bosnia-Herzegovina BE-BIH 111
      Montenegro BE-MNE 111
      Marocco BM 111
      Serbia BE-SRB 111
      Tunisia BE-TN 111
      Turkey BE-TR 111
  • Rest of the world: no document.

     
How should I use the document ‘temporary stay’?
  • In the case of public hospitals or health care providers:
    • In case of a hospitalisation:
      The document is shown to the foreign hospital. If you use your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), the hospital should make a copy of it and return you the card. Thanks to the document "temporary stay", all medical expenses will be billed directly to your health insurance fund, based on the prices that are valid in the country you are staying in. It is possible that you will have to pay a smaller amount yourself: the patient's share.
      If you pay contributions for the complementary insurance, the patient's share (the amount that you would have to pay yourself) can be paid by your health insurance fund through Mediphone Assist, the travel assistance of your health insurance fund. To this end, you need to contact Mediphone Assist within 48 hours. Mediphone Assist can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
       
    • In case of ambulatory care:
      In certain countries, ambulatory care is free when you show the document. However, in most countries you will have to pay ambulatory care yourself. Afterwards, you can submit the bills and the document to the local health insurance fund in order to obtain a reimbursement. You can also send the bills to your own health insurance fund upon return in Belgium (for more information, please read "Reimbursement for healthcare received abroad"). 
      If you need ambulatory care after a winter sports accident, you need to contact Mediphone Assist, the assistance centre of your health insurance fund, within 48 hours.
      In case of haemodialysis, oxygen therapy, radiotherapy and chemotherapy (that had already started in Belgium), Mediphone Assist can also take care of the medical expenses abroad. In that case, you need to contact Mediphone Assist at least a month before leaving, so that all necessary measures can be taken.

 

  • In the case of private hospitals or health care providers:

    Private hospitals and health care providers do not accept the EHIC nor the document ‘temporary stay’.
    • In case of a hospitalisation, you need to contact Mediphone Assist, the assistance centre of your health insurance fund, within 48 hours. Mediphone Assist can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
       
    • In case of ambulatory care:
      • If you need ambulatory care after a winter sports accident, you need to contact Mediphone Assist, the assistance centre of your health insurance fund, within 48 hours.
      • In case of haemodialysis, oxygen therapy, and chemotherapy or radiotherapy (that had already started in Belgium), Mediphone Assist can also take care of the medical expenses abroad. In that case, you need to contact Mediphone Assist at least a month before leaving, so that all necessary measures can be taken.
      • In all other cases, you hand over your medical bills to your own health insurance fund upon return in Belgium.
I need medical care while I am staying abroad. What should I do?

Show your EHIC or your document ‘temporary stay’ to the health care provider (cf. point "How should I use the document ‘temporary stay’?").

The service "Emergency Care Abroad" (ECA) covers your stay in 52 countries, including all the member States of the European Union. To benefit from it, you should have paid all your contributions for the complimentary insurance, before your departure. Depending on the care:

  •  Ambulatory care after a winter sports accident: you need to contact Mediphone Assist, the assistance centre of your health insurance fund, within 48 hours. Mediphone Assist will organise the assistance, the repatriation and pay the medical bills, if necessary.
  • Urgent hospitalisation: you need to contact Mediphone Assist (+32 2 778 94 94) within 48 hours. Mediphone Assist can be reached 24/24, 7/7. Mediphone Assist will organise the assistance, the repatriation and pay the medical bills, if necessary. The hospitalisation has to be urgent and unexpected, even for the treatment of a chronical or existing illnesss. If you suffer from a chronical or existing illness, your health should be good enough for the trip not to worsen your condition.
  • Haemodialysis, oxygen therapy, and chemotherapy or radiotherapy (that had already started in Belgium), Mediphone Assist can also organise and pay the medical expenses abroad. In that case, you need to contact Mediphone Assist at least a month before leaving, so that all necessary measures can be taken on time.
  • Small medical problems (ambulatory care), you can contact Mediphone Assist (+32 2 778 94 94) if you would like to have more information aboout medical care abroad (doctor, pharmacist, hospital). You will have to pay for your medical treatment yourself, but you can ask for a reimbursement upon return to Belgium.
What does Mediphone Assist do?

Mediphone Assist is the assistance centre of the Independent Health Insurance Funds. It can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in case of medical problems that would occur during a stay abroad.

The assistance centre offers the following services:

  • giving information about doctors, pharmacies, hospitals or nurses in a foreign country:
    • where to find the doctor/dentist/pharmacy on call?
    • where is the nearest hospital/pharmacy/medical practice?
    • where to find a doctor who speaks Dutch/French/English?
    • You can also contact Mediphone Assist before your departure, to prepare your trip (e.g. in case you need physical therapy while you are away).
  • sending the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or the document ‘temporary stay’ to the hospital or the health care provider.
  • paying the medical expenses for urgent medical treatment in the countries that are covered by the service "Emergency Care Abroad" (ECA).
    Please note: if you travel outside this geographical zone, you will not be covered by Mediphone Assist. Therefore, we advise you to underwrite a travel insurance with an insurance company that offers good coverage for medical care and repatriation.
  • giving medical advice.
  • contacting foreign doctors and the family in Belgium.
  • bringing the patient and an accompanying person home, if repatriation is necessary from a medical point of view, in case of medical care due to winter sports accident or hospitalisations.

Please note: in order to benefit from Mediphone Assist’s services, you must have paid your contributions for the complementary insurance before leaving Belgium.

If I cannot carry on with my holidays, will I be repatriated by Mediphone Assist?

Mediphone Assist can organise a repatriation to Belgium, if needed, in case of hospitalisation or winter sports accidents.

Mediphone Assist decides autonomously and will repatriate you if this is necessary from a medical point of view. Depending on the health situation of the patient, Mediphone Assist can decide to let the patient return home on the initially planned date, with the initially planned means of transportation. If the initially planned return date is not possible, or if the patient’s health requires special transportation, Mediphone Assist will organise the repatriation of the patient and possibly an accompanying person (proof of intended return must be presented). How and when this repatriation will take place, depends on the patient’s health. The repatriation expenses are fully taken care of by the assistance center.

Please note: in order to benefit from Mediphone Assist’s services, you must have paid the contributions for the complementary insurance before you leave Belgium.

When does the complimentary insurance occur?

The complementary insurance of your health insurance fund offers the service Emergency Care Abroad (ECA). If all the ECA conditions are met (see: "What are the general conditions of the complimentary insurance?" ). The ECA service includes two parts:

  • Assistance, through the assistance centre Mediphone Assist (+32 2 778 94 94), reachable 24/24, 7/7.   
    In case of urgent and unexpected medical problems, Mediphone Assist can give you medical and administrative advice, but also:
    • send the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or the document ‘temporary stay’ to the hospital.
    • offer payment warranties in case of an emergency hospitalisation or urgent ambulatory care after a winter sports accident,
    • offer payment warranties in case of haemodialysis, oxygen therapy, radiotherapy or chemotherapy (if already started in Belgium and organised by Mediphone Assist).
    • contact the family and the foreign health care providers.
    • organise the patient’s repatriation if necessary from a medical point of view.
    • organise the repatriation of the mortal remains.
    • organise the repatriation of an accompanying person, or send an accompanying person on the spot, if necessary.
    • send drugs, prosthesis and devices if they are not available locally.
  • offer financial compensation for medical expenses, transportation and stay expenses, and phone calls (see: How to get reimbursed for healthcare received abroad?".)
Who can benefit from the complimentary insurance for healthcare abroad?
  • All people who have paid their contribution (and the contribution for their dependants) for the complementary insurance before leaving Belgium.
     
  • All people whose (official) place of residence lies within Belgium   
    This condition does not apply to the following persons if they travel outside of Belgium and outside the country they live in:
    • employees (and their dependants) who are sent abroad on secondment by their Belgian employer;
    • frontier workers (and their dependants) who work in Belgium and live in Germany, France, Luxemburg or the Netherlands;
    • retired persons and their dependants, persons in inability to work and their dependants, and the dependants who live abroad without the entitled person, when they have their official residence in a member state of the European Union or in Norway, in Iceland, in Liechtenstein or in Switzerland;
    • employees (and their dependants) of the Belgian military forces with Eurocorps in France.
What are the general conditions of the complimentary insurance?
  • You have paid your contributions for the complementary insurance before you left Belgium. Please note: even if you rectify your situation afterwards, it will be too late for a compensation.  
  • You stay in a country listed by the service "Emergency Care Abroad" (ECA) of your complimentary insurance:
    • All the Member States of the European Union (except Belgium), Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Albania, Algeria, Bosnia, North Macedonia, Morocco, Montenegro, Serbia, Tunisia, Turkey, Andorra, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Kosovo, Lebanon, Libya, Monaco, Palestine, San Marino, Syria, and the Vatican City.
    • Please note: some territories of France, the UK and the Netherlands are not covered.
    • Please note: if you travel to a country that is not mentioned in this list, we advise you to underwrite a travel insurance with an insurance company that offers adequate coverage for emergency medical care and repatriation.
  • You have to call Mediphone Assist within 48 hours in case of an emergency hospitalization or ambulatory care after a winter sports accident. Mediphone Assist is reachable 24/24, 7/7.
  • In case of haemodialysis, oxygen therapy, and chemotherapy or radiotherapy (that had already started in Belgium), Mediphone Assist can also take care of the medical expenses abroad. In that case, you need to contact Mediphone Assist at least a month before your departure, so that all necessary measures can be taken.
  • The medical treatment has to be urgent and unexpected, even for a chronical or existing illness. If you suffer from a chronical or existing illness, your health should be good enough for the trip not to worsen your condition.
  • The medical treatment in the destination country cannot be the main or subsidiary purpose of your trip.
  • You may benefit from a 3-month-coverage period per stay, starting from the day on which the first care has been administrated. For students who stay in an EU Member State or in Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland as part of an exchange program or an internship, a 12-month-coverage period applies starting from the day of departure.
  • You need to follow the instructions of the assistance centre. If not, you might lose your entitlement to assistance and reimbursement.
  • The insured should behave as any careful person would normally behave in the same circumstances.
What can you claim from you complimentary insurance?

When you comply with all the "Emergency Care Abroad" (ECA) conditions, the complementary insurance of your health insurance fund can grant you a compensation.

The complementary insurance grants a compensation for:

  • the medical expenses of an hospitalisation are entirely paid by Mediphone Assist if a file has been opened (only the first 15 days, unless the treatment is still considered as immediate and necessary and cannot wait until the return to Belgium)
  • ambulatory care expenses are reimbursed, up to 75% (= all care for which a night in the hospital is not necessary), if the treatment was urgent and unexpected and if all ECA conditions are met
    Please note: ambularory care following a winter sports accident can be entirely reimbursed
  • haemodialysis, oxygen therapy, radiotherapy or chemotherapy will be fully reimbursed, but only if a file has been opened at the assistance centre. 
  • transportation expenses after an accident or illness (e.g. from the place of the accident to the hospital) can be reimbursed.
  • transportation expenses for haemodialysis, oxygen therapy, and chemotherapy can be reimbursed up to a maximum of 100 € per month.
  • in case of hospitalisation or winter sports accidents, expenses for a medically necessary repatriation of the patient and an accompanying person, organised by Mediphone Assist,
  • in case of hospitalisation or winter sports accidents, expenses for the trip of the accompanying person from Belgium to the foreign country are reimbursed up to a maximum of 500 €, if it is necessary to have an accompanying person on the spot. A file has to be opened at the assistance centre Mediphone Assist.
  • stay expenses are reimbursed for a maximum of 100 € per day (hotel, meals, taxi, etc.) if the presence of the partner, a family member or someone else is necessary for human or medical reasons, during maximum 10 consecutive days.
  • phone call expenses (up to 15 € per file) for the contacts with Mediphone Assist, if a file has been opened at the assistance centre.
Which expenses are excluded from the complimentary insurance?

Certain expense types are excluded from the "Emergency Care Abroad" (ECA) coverage:

  • non urgent treatments 
  • stay expenses for thermal health resorts or spas
  • expenses in a rehabilitation centre, recovery centre, or physiotherapy centre
  • expenses for pregnancy or delivery during an incautious trip (e.g.: after the 36th week of pregnancy)
  • aesthetic treatments and rejuvenation cures
  • purchase or repair expenses for glasses, hearing aids
  • dental prosthesis or any other dental treatment
  • vaccination expenses
  • expenses due to the practice of dangerous sports like off-piste skiing or bungee jumping
  • planned care
  • involuntary commitment in a psychiatric hospital
  • treatment after an accident due to the practice of a paid sport, including trainings
  • treatment due to rebellion, civil war, all collective acts of violence of political, ideological or social origin
  • natural or industrial disasters
  • treatment due to the use of alcohol, hallucinogenic or narcotic drugs
  • suicide attempt or voluntary act of the client (except in case of rescue of persons or goods)
  • voluntary aggravation of the risk
  • participation in a crime or in a offence
  • funeral expenses, burial and cremation expenses
  • alternative treatments, for instance osteopathy, chiropraxis, homeopathy.

All details on the service Emergency Care Abroad are mentioned in the articles of the Statutes. The regulations in these articles are binding. They give a detailed overview of the benefits and their restrictions, the reimbursement conditions and all the exceptions.

You can consult the articles of the Statutes at your local health insurance fund or on their website.