As an international student in Belgium you are legally obliged to take out Belgian health insurance in case you do not have an insurance in your home country that covers your medical expenses abroad as these costs can quickly rise.
A standard health insurance policy will reimburse about 75% of the cost of a doctor's visit, medication, and hospitalisation. You will always have to pay for the invoice after a doctor’s visit yourself. After the visit, you must put an identification sticker on the invoice and hand it in at the health insurance company. As such you will get the reimbursement of the cost.
Students from an EEA country have to apply in their home country for the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). This card proves that you already have a health insurance in your home country. Students from Algeria, Australia, Tunisia, Turkey and the former Yugoslavia can request documents for health insurance in their home country if there is an agreement between Belgium and their country. All medical expenses will be reimbursed by a Belgian health insurance company if you present the EHIC, however some health insurance companies also require a registration based on the EHIC. The refund also applies to the cost of drugs and medication: ask for a 704N form at the pharmacy.
Note that the system of reimbursement as mentioned above will apply. You will not get a free doctor’s visit, but will always have to pay the invoice first and ask for reimbursement afterwards at the health insurance company.
Some medication on prescription will immediately be reduced in price at the pharmacy if you prove that you have Belgian health insurance.
Students holding an EHIC or another similar document will be able to register at a reduced tariff with a Belgian health insurance company.
Students who do not have an EHIC, are required to follow the same procedure as non-EEA students and take out health-insurance coverage in Belgium.
Students from a country outside the EEA must register as a student with a Belgian health insurance company and take out a health insurance policy. You will pay an additional fee until your Belgian residence permit has been processed.
The fees and tariffs may differ per health insurance company, it is wise to check the different advantages and prices before registration.
With your proof of enrolment, you can subscribe to a health insurance policy at the insurance company of your choice. However, it may be useful to know that KU Leuven has excellent relations with 'CM’ (Christelijke Mutualiteit)
Documents necessary for registration at a health insurance company:
The fee consists of a quarterly payment, which entitles you to all benefits from the first day of that quarter. There are four payment periods: from the beginning of October to the end of December, from the beginning of January to the end of March, from the beginning of April to the end of June and from July until September.
During the first quarter of your stay as a student in Belgium you will be eligible for health insurance as a 'student'. Once you have received your residence permit card at the City Hall you will be eligible for health insurance as a 'resident' and the fee will be lower.
STUVO+ recommends registration with either one of these two health insurance companies:
Partenamut: https://www.partenahealthinsurance-expats.be/ (ask for specific registration as a student)