SIS Card: Expat key to the Belgian Health System
As an expat, if you don’t have your SIS card, you don’t exist in Belgium. Learn how to get it by becoming a member of a Belgian health insurance fund.
The SIS Card – what it is and how it works
Once you are affiliated to a social security organisation in Belgium, you will receive a personal SIS Card (Social Identity Card). This electronic card contains your name, social security identification number, date of birth, and validity period of the card. Your identity details and status are held in a central databank that can be accessed by any branch of the social security system.
This card is then used for all dealings with social security institutions. It is also required when checking in at the hospital or picking up medication from a pharmacy. In other words, the SIS card provides a reliable means of electronic identification for social security contributors:
- With social security institutions,
- With employers,
- With other relevant authorities.
The SIS Card gives access to nearly 40 social services in Belgium, covering social organizations, pharmacies, hospitals, etc.
How Expats get their SIS card?
Your SIS card is provided to you by your Belgian health insurance provider. Belgium has reciprocal social security arrangements with many countries. Under these arrangements expats can claim and be awarded many of the same benefits as Belgian citizens.
When you use this card at pharmacies and hospitals, you will only pay the personal reminder fee. When you visit a medical provider you will be asked to pay the full amount and claim reimbursement afterwards by sending your health insurance provider the medical receipt, with an identification sticker attached.