Today I’m writing this post for those of you who’re just like myself: want to be able to understand things without having to use an encyclopedia! 🙂
So, I’ll leave the details for the experts (please see the links at the end of the text) as this post is supposed to be more like a translation of the highlights of Public Health System in Luxembourg. And please tell me in case you notice any misunderstanding.
1. Getting Started
To get access to medical assistance in Luxembourg you must have a social security number. This is actually the same number as your ‘matricule number‘ – the one you get after registering at the commune where you live.
Once you register as a resident of your commune, your file is sent to the CNS (Caisse Nationale de la Santé). Together with the paper work from your employer, you’ll get a social security number and soon you’ll receive your social security card by mail.
This card is almost like your ID while living in Luxembourg. Well, this and the Resident Certificate (but I’ll leave that story for another article). You have to present both in a variety of situations!
Also, the back of the social security card is very important as it is an european health care card that you can use in case of medical emergencies while travelling in Europe. Just note that this European card has a very limited expiration date, so make sure you check it before travelling. If it’s expired or almost there, you can ask for a new card at the CNS (direct link here). It’s free of charges and it has a very quick response.
2. Going to the doctor
If you need medical assistance, you can freely choose your doctor and make an appointment directly to his/her office.
The health care system works on a reimbursement basis. The patient pays all costs and then submits receipts to the Caisse Nationale de Santé (CNS) for reimbursement. Usually, you are asked to pay the amount directly at the doctor’s office. If not, you’ll receive a letter later on, asking for the payment (for example, hospital bills).
To get the reimbursement of medical assistance, you should present the receipts to the CNS. You have two options to do this:
– Go in person to the CNS main building and leave the documents at the small ‘letter box’ nearby the reception desk.
– Send the documents by mail to the CNS. Note that you don’t need postage stamps (Yes, this is true!)
In either options, don’t forget to take some copies of all documents. Also, in case of payments made by bank transfer, you’ll need to present a proof of payment, which is actually a copy of the account statement sheet where the transfer is officially observed. Just highlight it.
The amount paid back varies from 80% to 100% of the bill. Public healthcare covers the majority of treatments provided by GPs and specialists as well as laboratory tests, pregnancy, childbirth, rehabilitation, prescriptions and hospitalization.
To make sure that CNS have all the info need, you can add a cover letter saying that you are asking for the reimbursement of medical expenses. Here is an example:
I’m writing to submit a claim for the reimbursement of the medical expenses listed below:
Date / Institution / Service (‘rendez-vous médicin’ or ‘prescription médicale’) / Amount paid
[Your social security number]
[Your bank account details – Bank/IBAN]
4. Private health insurance
Many people in Luxembourg take out supplementary insurance with one of the non-profit health insurance agencies or mutual associations (mutuelles) affiliated to the Ministry of Social Security. Many employers offer supplementary cover as a benefit of employment. A mutuelle pays the portion of your medical fees that isn’t covered by your caisse and may offer extended coverage for such things as hospitalisation, eye care, dental treatment and medical services outside Luxembourg.
5. Additional info
Medical Help/Ambulance/Vet/Doctors – Tel: 112
Fire Brigade, City of Luxembourg – Tel: 44 22 44
Police – Tel: 113
List of on-duty hospitals, opened for emergencies at:
List of on-duty pharmacies:
Other emergency numbers and usefull french emergency terms and phrases at:
Caisse nationale de Santé (CNS)
125, route d’Esch
Phone: (+352) 27 57 1