Targetting Expats in the Benelux Region
The three countries that make up the Benelux region Holland, Luxembourg and Belgium are all admired areas for expatriates to relocate to. All three countries provide a base for the European Union government departments. They also house many European Corporate headquarters including IBM, Shell and Skype.
The quality of life in Belgium and the Netherlands' is ranked as some of the best in the world, according to the HSBC Expat Explorer survey in 2010, and it is widely understood that the standard of living in the region is extremely high. The Belgium and Dutch economy ranked six and eighth on a global index of the world's 60 largest economies, according to a report published by Ernst &Young in collaboration with the Economist Intelligence Unit.
English is widely spoken across the region and, with each country providing healthcare under insurance-based schemes, albeit at a range of levels, there are numerous opportunities for intermediaries to create partnerships with providers and, in particular through corporate clients, to target expats in the region.
Health insurance in Luxembourg
In Luxembourg health insurance is compulsory and basic cover is generally provided by the national social security system with contributions paid by both employees and the companies they work for.
Foreigners living in Luxembourg that do not work must produce proof of health insurance in order to obtain a residence permit.
Expatriates who qualify for 'non-resident' tax status, may not be required to contribute to national social security and are covered by employer's health care plans, if not they must arrange a private plan.
Accessing healthcare in Luxembourg
Although there are no private hospitals in Luxembourg hospital services are good. All hospitals are run by the state and all non-emergency hospital admissions are arranged by a GP.
All doctors charge the same amount that is set by the state. The doctor is paid directly and is then reimbursed by the insurance group. Luxembourg strictly regulates the selling of drugs and, whether you need over the counter remedies or need a prescription meds.
The health insurance opportunity in Luxembourg
Any client who is relocating to Luxembourg as an individual must have proof of health cover before they are permitted entry to the country so it's vital to make sure that they have a suitable plan before leaving to relocate. There may also be opportunities for intermediaries to set up appropriate cover for their company clients expanding into Luxembourg.
Health insurance in Belgium
Health insurance is compulsory in Belgium and basic cover is generally provided by the national social security system, with contributions paid by both employers and employees. The system of who pays for the healthcare can be a little complicated based on contributions into a fund, which is reimbursed when medical care is required.
Employers make health insurance contributions directly to a chosen fund. After enrolling into the Belgian health fund there is a six-month waiting period before a claim can be made unless there was cover previously in a state health care plan in another EU country.
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