Luxembourg is home to one of the best state-sponsored healthcare systems in Europe, which is available for free or at subsidised rates to all legal residents. Although public healthcare in Luxembourg is excellent, private healthcare is an option too.
Public healthcare in Luxembourg
The public healthcare system in Luxembourg is first-rate. The care offered at public hospitals is of a high standard and facilities are well equipped. Citizens and employed expats can access medical treatment for free or at highly subsidised rates by making monthly contributions to the country’s social security system.
Under the state system, expats will be able to choose their doctor, specialist and hospital. The basic coverage offered includes most GP and specialist treatments, laboratory tests, prescriptions and hospitalisation.
Private healthcare in Luxembourg
All hospitals in Luxembourg are public facilities. That said, some doctors and specialists exclusively provide private care. Expats are advised to take out private health insurance if they wish to access these private practitioners as the cost of treatment can be incredibly expensive.
Thanks to the high quality of public healthcare in Luxembourg, most residents only use this system, but some may take out additional private insurance to cover treatments not included in the state insurance coverage.
Health insurance in Luxembourg
All employed and self-employed expats in Luxembourg will be able to sign up for state healthcare. They will need to register at the Joint Centre for Social Security (CCSS). An expat’s employer will generally do this for them, but self-employed individuals must do this themselves.
Once registered, expats will receive their social security card, which must be presented when receiving medical treatment. Expats must also make a compulsory contribution towards the state healthcare system each month, which will be automatically deducted from their salary.
State healthcare funds about 84 percent of the costs of treatment, the remainder of which must be paid by the patient. Many expats and locals have additional private health insurance to supplement the coverage received by the state.
Pharmacies and medicine in Luxembourg
Pharmacies are easy to find in Luxembourg and can be identified by a large green cross. Most pharmacies are open during shopping hours only, but there will always be a duty pharmacy available outside of these hours.
The state generally covers around 80 percent of the costs of prescription medication. Expats may have to pay 60 percent of the cost of non-essential medication, but if these medicines are prescribed by an expat’s doctor, they may be able to get at least a portion of the cost reimbursed by their insurer. That said, non-prescription medicine must be paid for in full.
Expats should have the generic name of any medication they take when coming to Luxembourg, as brand names can vary from country to country.
Emergency services in Luxembourg
In the case of an emergency, expats in Luxembourg can dial the European emergency number 112. Most operators on this line will be able to speak English. Ambulances in Luxembourg aren’t always staffed by a paramedic, so if faced with a life-threatening situation, expats should ensure they ask for a SAMU (Le Service D'Aide Médicale Urgente). An ambulance with a doctor on board will then be dispatched.
Most large hospitals have an emergency department that provides treatment free of charge for those with or without state healthcare. Outside of general work hours, the hospitals with emergency departments generally rotate duties. The schedule for on-duty emergency rooms can be found in local newspapers, pharmacies, hospitals and doctors’ offices.