My kid is going to study in Belgium and is an Irish citizen. They have never lived in the EU.

Is it possible for them to avail of EU health insurance? Any pointers as to where to figure this out appreciated.

Note: I’m not talking about travel insurance, unless that is the only option.

  • 1
    Isn’t Ireland in the EU?
    – Jon Custer
    Commented May 26 at 1:44
  • @JonCuster Yes, but the standard insurance seems to need EU residency, which my kid does not have (they've been in Australia for the last four years).
    – Peter K.
    Commented May 26 at 2:02
  • You are right that he can't use an EHIC card because that requires European residency. Most educational institutions have health insurance for overseas student either built in to tuition or available through them. Talk to the educational Institute for more details. Commented May 26 at 2:55
  • Questions about working and studying abroad bel9ng on our Expatriates site. Commented May 26 at 3:01
  • 1
    Germany has a special health insurance just for students. that two of our kids had. It's very affordable and works great (as long as they younger than 30). If in fact it was so cheap and easy that we didn't bother trying to keep them on our insurance, although they would have technically qualified.. Don't know about Belgium, though Commented May 26 at 12:03

1 Answer 1


Is it possible for them to avail of EU health insurance?

Since you, the parents, aren't residing in Belgium, your kid isn't getting the health insurance from you.

Then, they will need to affiliate themselves to a mutualité/mutualiteiten, which is required. Since they don't have an EU Health Insurance Card, they may not benefit from eventual preferential rates, but they still need to join.

After getting registered at the commune of residence (which must be done in 8 days from arrival), you can freely choose between any of the 6 mutualités (list and info (fr)) to join.

  • Cool! Thanks for that. I’ll have a dig and pass this onto my kid.
    – Peter K.
    Commented May 26 at 11:38

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