Guidance

Healthcare in Luxembourg

Healthcare information for UK nationals visiting, living in or moving to Luxembourg.

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This content was originally published on the NHS website.

Healthcare in Luxembourg after Brexit

You should be ready for possible changes to your access to healthcare if there’s a no-deal Brexit and you’re a UK national visiting or living in Luxembourg.

You should review your access to healthcare now. There may be a gap or permanent change in how you access healthcare if there’s no deal and no agreements with Luxembourg in place.

For example, if you’re a current S1 form holder or a posted worker or student using a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), you will not be able to use these to access your healthcare as you do now.

If you live or work in Luxembourg

The Luxembourg government has published information on their approach to UK nationals in Luxembourg after the UK leaves the EU, available in English.

You need to make the best decisions for your circumstances, and consider:

  • registering to live in Luxembourg
  • registering for healthcare under the local rules and legislation of Luxembourg
  • buying comprehensive health insurance while you’re applying for residency or if you’re not eligible for local schemes

Make sure you have all the right documentation and it is up to date.

If you meet the conditions for residence in Luxembourg, you’ll be eligible to access the state healthcare system.

S1 certificate holders

Your S1 certificate may not be valid if there’s a no-deal Brexit. This will depend on whether the UK has an arrangement with Luxembourg and might mean you need to pay in full for treatment.

Studying in Luxembourg after Brexit

If you’re already studying in Luxembourg before the UK leaves the EU, the UK will cover your healthcare costs for the duration of your course.

Students starting courses after the UK leaves the EU should ensure they have comprehensive healthcare cover in place.

Get help paying for medical treatment after Brexit

During the first 6 months after Brexit, if you need medical treatment and you’re being asked to pay for it, the UK can help.

This may be through arrangements with the country you live in, or by paying your healthcare provider directly.

To organise a payment, you’ll need to give your healthcare provider’s details to the NHS Business Services Authority’s Overseas Healthcare Services.

Call the NHS Business Services Authority on +44 (0)191 218 1999 for more information. Lines are open Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm and Saturday 9am to 3pm (UK time).

Using NHS services when visiting the UK

You should not expect to be able to use NHS services for free when visiting the UK if you’re living in Luxembourg and are not currently eligible for a UK-issued S1 form or EHIC.

You should take out appropriate travel insurance when visiting the UK, as you would when visiting any other country.

You may use NHS services in England, Scotland and Wales without charge when visiting the UK after exit day if you’re living in Luxembourg on exit day and you:

  • have a UK-issued S1 form
  • have a UK-issued EHIC
  • would have been eligible for the UK to fund your healthcare access if exit day had not occurred

Returning to the UK permanently

If you return to the UK permanently and meet the ordinarily resident test, you’ll be able to access NHS care without charge.

European Health Insurance Cards (EHIC)

Your EHIC may not be valid if there’s a no-deal Brexit. This will depend on whether the UK has an arrangement with Luxembourg, and might mean you need to pay in full for treatment.

Make sure you have comprehensive travel insurance if you’re planning to visit Luxembourg.

Check your insurance has the necessary healthcare cover to ensure you can get any treatment you might need.

If you have any pre-existing conditions, talk to a GP and your insurer about how to get the right cover and how this affects your travel.

Your EHIC will be valid until the UK leaves the EU. Your EHIC can also be used to access UK-funded treatment if your visit or treatment started before exit day until you return to the UK.

To organise a payment, you’ll need to give your healthcare provider’s details to the NHS Business Services Authority’s Overseas Healthcare Services.

Call the NHS Business Services Authority on +44 (0)191 218 1999 for more information. Lines are open Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm and Saturday 9am to 3pm (UK time).

Living and working in Luxembourg

This information is about healthcare in Luxembourg before Brexit. Find out about healthcare for UK nationals living and working in Luxembourg after Brexit.

UK nationals living or working in Luxembourg must follow the registration process to access the same entitlements to healthcare as Luxembourgish nationals.

The healthcare system in Luxembourg is financed through mandatory health insurance contributions to the national health fund (CNS).

If you live in Luxembourg, you’re required to make social security contributions to entitle you and your dependant family members to healthcare.

If you work less than 3 months a calendar year, you’re exempt from compulsory health insurance, but you can choose to pay voluntary contributions to the statutory scheme.

The healthcare system in Luxembourg works on the basis of reimbursement. The treatment reimbursement rate varies from 80% to 100%. Some costs are paid directly by the CNS, but you’ll need to pay for some treatments upfront and seek reimbursement.

More than 90% of healthcare services are covered by the statutory scheme, but you may wish to take out additional private health insurance to cover the portion of medical fees not covered by the CNS.

There are no private hospitals in Luxembourg. All hospitals are run by the CNS.

You must have an EU, Norwegian, Icelandic, Liechtensteiner or Swiss national relative living in Luxembourg if you wish to retire there. You may be eligible to apply to retire in Luxembourg for private reasons that do not meet the conditions for family reunification. In this case, residency will only be granted in extremely exceptional circumstances.

You must provide proof of health insurance covering all the necessary costs and proof of sufficient finances.

UK posted workers

If you’re a worker posted by a UK company to Luxembourg, you may be entitled to health cover funded by the UK in the country you’re posted to.

You can find out more from HM Revenue and Customs:

S1 certificate

This information is about healthcare in Luxembourg before Brexit. Find out about S1 certificates after Brexit.

You may be entitled to state healthcare paid for by the UK if you live in Luxembourg and receive:

  • an exportable UK State Pension
  • a contribution-based Employment Support Allowance
  • another exportable benefit

You’ll need to apply for a certificate of entitlement known as an S1 certificate. An S1 certificate helps you and your dependants access healthcare in Luxembourg.

If you have an S1 certificate, it’ll be valid until the UK leaves the EU.

You may be eligible for an S1 certificate if you:

  • receive certain UK benefits, such as a UK State Pension
  • are employed by a UK body or firm (you are a posted or frontier worker)
  • are a dependant of someone who has an S1 certificate

It is possible to apply for an S1 certificate until the UK leaves the EU. You can apply for an S1 certificate through the NHS Business Services Authority.

Make sure you have all the right documentation it is up to date.

If you receive a UK State Pension, you can apply for your certificate through the Overseas Healthcare Service on +44 (0) 191 218 1999 (option 5).

For other exportable benefits, you may need to contact a different team depending on the exportable benefit.

Find out more about claiming benefits if you live, move or travel abroad

Different exportable benefits can have different rules in terms of healthcare cover.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) provides information about what UK and Luxembourgish benefits are available to Britons living in Luxembourg.

Studying in Luxembourg

This information is about healthcare in Luxembourg before Brexit. Find out about healthcare for UK nationals studying in Luxembourg after Brexit.

All students enrolled at a university in Luxembourg must have health cover.

If you do not have private insurance, you must personally enroll with the Joint Social Security Centre (CCSS), who’ll manage your contributions to be covered for healthcare.

You must provide proof of adequate healthcare insurance to cover you during your stay.

The government always advises UK nationals to take out comprehensive insurance when going overseas.

Find out more about healthcare when studying abroad

For more information about healthcare when living abroad, read the NHS guide on planning your healthcare when moving abroad.

Visiting Luxembourg

This information is about healthcare in Luxembourg before Brexit. Find out about healthcare for UK nationals visiting Luxembourg after Brexit.

Make sure you have comprehensive travel insurance if you’re planning to visit Luxembourg.

The government always advises UK citizens to take out comprehensive travel insurance when going overseas.

Your EHIC is not an alternative to travel insurance and you should have both when you travel abroad.

Emergency medical care is provided to anyone requiring urgent attention. You can expect to be charged in full for any care provided without an EHIC.

Your EHIC enables you to access necessary state-provided healthcare in Luxembourg at a reduced cost, or sometimes for free if you’re staying there temporarily.

Make sure you’re treated by a healthcare provider in the state system, as you will not be covered for private healthcare with an EHIC.

Remember to keep all receipts and any paperwork.

Pre-existing health conditions

You should buy medical travel insurance before visiting Luxembourg if you have a pre-existing health condition.

You must tell the insurance company about any pre-existing health conditions you have so you can get the cover you need.

The Money and Pensions Advice Service has information about buying travel insurance for people with pre-existing medical conditions.

If you have a pre-existing condition that’ll need treatment while abroad, ask your doctor in the UK for advice before you travel.

Take any documents about your health condition or medicines with you.

If you are travelling to have planned medical treatment, read the NHS guide on seeking medical treatment in Europe.

Healthcare services in Luxembourg

Finding help in an emergency

Call 112 if you have a serious, life-threatening emergency. This number is free of charge.

Emergency care is provided by the emergency department at large hospitals.

Not all hospitals in Luxembourg have emergency services, and out-of-hours coverage is rotated among hospitals in the area.

The schedule is published in newspapers, pharmacies and doctors’ offices.

All people are treated in an emergency, regardless of insurance. But it can be very expensive if you do not have medical insurance.

Hospitals

Planned treatment for people residing in Luxembourg is covered through statutory health insurance, if you’re eligible.

If you’re not eligible, you must take out private healthcare insurance.

You have a free choice of provider and direct access to a specialist physician.

Primary care is provided by general practitioners and specialists in doctors’ surgeries.

You must pay the doctor directly and seek reimbursement from the sickness fund.

Tertiary care is limited in Luxembourg and the state pays for many specialised services to be provided abroad.

There are no private hospitals in Luxembourg. All hospitals are run by the National Health Fund, known as Caisse Nationale de Santé (CNS).

In the state healthcare system, you have the right to insist your EHIC is accepted. You do not have to provide travel insurance details unless you choose to do so.

Prescriptions

Medicines are covered by the CNS if you present the original prescription.

There are 3 classes of medicines covered by the CNS:

  • the standard rate of 80% applies to all medicines not included in a specific provision
  • the preferential rate of 100% applies to medicines for specific therapies that contain a single active ingredient and that are used to treat particularly serious or chronic illnesses
  • the reduced rate of 40% applies to non-essential pharmaceutical products of more limited therapeutic use

With an EHIC, people of working age are charged 50% and pensioners are charged about 10%.

If you receive a UK State Pension, you’ll need to declare this to pay the lower rate.

Bringing your own medicines to Luxembourg

Some prescribed medicines contain drugs that are controlled under the Misuse of Drugs legislation in the UK.

This means that additional legal controls apply to these medicines. You may need a personal license to take controlled medicines abroad.

Specific requirements also apply to:

  • the information that you must take with you
  • how you carry your controlled medicines

Read more information about travelling with controlled medicines.

Published 23 September 2019