December 8, 2022

New to Luxembourg? Here is how our social security system works

Le système de santé luxembourgeThe Luxembourg health system is one of the best in Europe and in the world. It is inclusive, egalitarian and qualitative, which means that all residents are covered and receive equal treatment, and that all care providers are contracted. What more could you need to know? Of course, how it works. This article will tell you what the CNS is, how to register and how to get your reimbursements. ois est l’un des meilleurs en Europe et au monde. Il est solidaire, égalitaire et qualitatif, ce qui signifie que tous les résidents sont couverts et bénéficient d’une équité de traitement, et que tous les prestataires de soins sont conventionnés. Que demander de plus ? Ah oui, la façon dont ça fonctionne. Cet article vous apprendra ce qu’est la CNS, comment vous y inscrire et comment obtenir vos remboursements.

Kinésithérapeute massant un patient

The CNS: the heart of the system

The Caisse Nationale de Santé (National Health Fund) – CNS in common parlance – is the central body that manages compulsory health insurance and healthcare reimbursements.

As in most European countries, it is financed by social security contributions deducted from salaries, contributions paid by employers and a state contribution.

Whether you are employed or self-employed, you depend on it and benefit more or less from the same services. However, there are some differences between the two statuses with regard to social security contributions, daily sickness allowances and unemployment insurance.

How can you benefit from health insurance?

Your affiliation

Here is another important acronym: CCSS, for Centre Commun de la Sécurité Sociale. It registers your affiliation and calculates your social security contribution.

If you are an employee, you will be automatically affiliated as soon as your employer declares your employment. If you are self-employed, you will have to do this yourself.

The CCSS will send you your social security card with your 13-digit national identification number. This is a real medical key, and you will be asked for it whenever you have a consultation.

Affiliation of your family

There is no charge for your partner and children to join the health insurance scheme. They just need to be Luxembourg residents and not already personally affiliated.

In Luxembourg, this is known as co-insurance and you need to apply for it at the CNS. The conditions for children and couples are as follows:

  • All minors and children under the age of 30 still living in the family home can be affiliated through their parent.
  • All married or civil union partners can benefit from their spouse’s affiliation. Spouses must provide form S041 or E104, which certifies that they are no longer covered by their former health insurance fund.

Where do you go for treatment?

In case of sudden illness, go to your GP or paediatrician. They will refer you to a specialist if you need one.

In Luxembourg, you are free to choose your healthcare provider, as long as they are approved by the CNS. If your usual doctor is unavailable, you can choose another one of your choice.

You are ill and it’s outside the doctors surgery opening hours? There are three on-call medical centres in Luxembourg operating at night. You can go to one from 8:00 pm to midnight on weekdays and from 8:00 am to midnight on weekends and public holidays.

In the middle of the night, call 112 for serious problems or go directly to the A&E department of the nearest hospital. Parents can take their children to the Paediatric Emergency Department of the Centre Hospitalier du Luxembourg (CHL).

How can you get a reimbursement?

In Luxembourg, most expenses are reimbursed by the CNS. Consultations and hospitalisations are reimbursed at 88% for adults and 100% for children and young people under 18. This is generous and allows for proper care, but does not cover all costs (notably dental and optical) or a single-bed hospital room. To benefit from this, there are supplementary health insurance policies.

When you have paid in advance

Reimbursements are made by post. No postage is required if you are using the service from Luxembourg:

  1. send your care certificates to one of the 16 local agencies.
  2. Fill in your registration number (national identification number) and include your bank details (RIB) if this is the first time you are claiming.

Reimbursements will be made by transfer (or by cheque under certain conditions).

Expenses taken care of  by the third-party payment system

Medication, hospital, physiotherapy or laboratory expenses are examples of care for which you do not have to pay in advance.

You will only be required to pay the portion not covered by health insurance.

Hospitalisation costs

Health insurance covers the costs of staying in hospital. Only adults are charged a daily fee (it is free for children under 18).

However, doctors who are consulted in hospital will charge their own fees. These are sometimes covered by the third-party payment system, but not always.

Cover of medicines, care and specific items

For specific medicines, prostheses or consultations with specialists such as psychometricians or physiotherapists, you do not have to cover the costs in advance as long as you have a prescription. The CNS checks its validity and provides you with receipts.

At Foyer, medicis extended healthcare cover provides cover to supplement expenses not covered by the CNS. There are two formulas depending on need:

  • medicis hospi+ provides you with the best possible cover when staying in hospital or undergoing surgery,
  • medicis confort goes even further with coverage of medical treatments, dental and optical procedures/care and alternative therapies.
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