Belgium; small country with quite an efficient social security that is based on the solidarity between its citizen. Every citizen makes contribution for the well-being of others. The complementary health insurance are in charge to reimburse part of the medication, consultation and hospitalization fees.
However, you have left Belgium and now live in Singapore? And you are wondering how to handle your expenses in terms of healthcare? Depending on your profile, there exists several different cases. ONSS/RSZ or private health insurance, how to choose? Arnaud, our Sales & Partnership Manager, a belgian expat, has written this article in order to help you make a choice.
1) You continue to make monthly contribution to the ONSS
The ONSS/RSZ, Office Nationale de Sécurité Sociale/ Rijksdienst voor Sociale Zekerheind), is the belgian system for healthcare. It’s the National Office for Social Security where you can make contributions.
You are now living in Singapore, and however you can continue to contribute on a monthly basis to the ONSS/RSZ thanks to the SSOM/OSZ. What is the SSOM/OSZ you may ask? The SSOM/OSZ, also known as Sécurité Sociale d’Outre-Mer/ Overzee Sociale Zekerheid, is the social security for belgian living overseas. It provides coverages for certain sectors:
- work accident
- personal accident
To make a contribution to the SSOM/OSZ, you must have a credited bank-account in Belgium. The withdrawal will be done automatically from this account.
In the SSOM/OSZ, the general system includes a mandatory coverage for:
- The pension insurance (with terms and conditions): it gives the opportunity to have a pension for retirement, possibly survivor’s pension, orphan allowance, pension for divorcee or even travel insurance.
- The sickness-disability-maternity insurance (with terms and conditions): it gives the right to an allocation when you are temporarily unemployed.
- An insurance for deferred healthcare: this insurance reimburses your medical expenses after a certain time of contribution. The INAMI/RIZIV (Institut National d’Assurance Maladie- Invalidité/ Rijksinstituut voor ziekte- en invaliditeitsverzekering ) handles this mandatory insurance.
And a complimentary coverage for:
- Reimbursement for healthcare (75% of the reimbursement of the expenses linked to a hospitalization)
- Work accidents (based on the category of risks)
- Personal accidents
For the general system, the prices vary from 318,25 to 1935,23 euros per year. You are free to decide what amount you want to contribute. To benefit for the complimentary coverages, you must purchase them.
2) You want to purchase a private health insurance
You do not wish to contribute to the SSOM/OSZ? And you prefer to (fully) cover you and your family with a private health insurance? In that case, it is mandatory to understand the local healthcare system and to identify your needs.
In Singapore, the healthcare system is one of the best in the world. However, it is also quite expensive. For a better coverage than the one of the SSOM/OSZ, it can be much more practical to have a local health insurance. Therefore, it will provide the proper healthcare coverage you need and you have the possibility to select various coverage options. For example, at UEX, you can choose to be covered only in public hospitals. As a matter of fact, by choosing this option, you will reduce the premium of your health insurance. Please note that the quality of the healthcare in Singapore is almost the same between private and public hospitals. The services they provide are usually the main difference. Especially, the waiting lines will probably shorter in private hospitals.
Please note that the SSOM/OSZ will only cover 75% of medical expenses. However, in Singapore, the expenses can be quite high. To give you a better understanding, an appendicitis surgery at Changi General Hospital costs in general S$4,591. Here is a list with the prices in the event of a hospitalization in Singapore.
As a matter of fact, at UEX, we offer personalized coverages tailor-made to fit your needs. Feel free to do a simulation on our online platform. To start the customization, click on the “Start now” button, on the top right-hand corner.
3) How to plan your return to Belgium?
First of all, you must register to the ONSS/RSZ. Generally, your (new) employer will bear the costs of the registration to the belgian social security. The ONEM/ RVA can also pay for it. This one is the National Office for Employment (l’Office National de l’Emploi/i/ Rijksdienst Voor Arbeidsvoorziening), and is involved if you have no job. This organization is in charge of the organization of the unemployment insurance.
However, if you want to affiliate to a complementary health insurance, this will depend on your status.
You were not affiliated to the SSOM/OSZ during your expatriation
You must check with your complementary health insurance the steps to carry out to be affiliated. Depending on the length of your stay overseas, there might be a waiting period. It’s generally of 6 months in order to be affiliated to the SSOM/ OSZ.
- You were affiliated to the SSOM/OSZ during your expatriation
If you have continued to make contributions to the SSOM/OSZ during your expatriation, you are still registered in the ONSS system. Contact the SSOM/OSZ to obtain a certificate of your affiliation during your expatriation. This will allow you to affiliate to a complementary health insurance in Belgium. In that case, you will not have a waiting period.
We hope this article will help you to settle in Singapore or go back to Belgium. Furthermore, do not hesitate to contact us for any information.
Written by our Belgian Guy
Arnaud de Kettenis
To find out more about healthcare topics in Singapore you can check our articles. To understand, how your health insurance plans cover healthcare costs, you can approach UEX‘s happiness team by email or by phone for more information and guidance – and the good news is that they are super nice!
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