Best options for EU Blue Card holders to get adequate health insurance coverage

EU Blue Card holders are eligible to receive social security contributions and health insurance in the EU State in which they will work. Highly skilled workers in the EU, as Blue Card holders are, enjoy the same benefits and rights as the nationals of the relevant Member State. This includes the rights to social and healthcare services.

Health Insurance for EU Blue Card application

All foreign workers who will live and work in an EU State must have health insurance at the time of application. There are two ways through which you can obtain it:

  • Through your current domestic health insurance plan. If you have health insurance in your country of residence, check to see if they offer coverage for the EU State where you intend to work in.
  • A health insurance plan in the EU State. If you cannot extend your current health insurance plan abroad, then you have to purchase private health insurance for the EU State in which you intend to work. The insurance plan has to start on the day you enter the EU.

EU Blue Card holders rights to health insurance and social security systems

Once you obtain your EU Blue Card, you will have the same rights as EU nationals in regards to health insurance and social security. However, it is still up to the individual State to decide the specifics of the coverage: who benefits from it, how much, and under which conditions.

What does this mean?

Well, let’s say you have a EU Blue Card for Germany. As a highly-skilled foreign worker in Germany, you are eligible to receive the same social security insurance as a German citizen. This will include access to public health insurance.

What does the social security system in the EU include?

Social security in the EU generally include the following:

  • Sickness
  • Maternity and paternity
  • Old-age pensions
  • Pre-retirement and invalidity pensions
  • Survivors’ benefits and death grants
  • Unemployment
  • Family benefits
  • Accidents at work and occupational illness

Who is in charge of obtaining health insurance for EU Blue Card holders?

In the EU, it is commonly the employer who has to ensure that the employees are covered in the above-mentioned sections of the legal social security. However, as previously stated, the specifics change depending on each member state, since there is no unified European healthcare system.

Normally, your employer pays part of the insurance contributions whereas the other part is directly taken from your salary.

Keep in mind:

  • If you are a permanent worker in one EU State and live in another, you will be insured in the Member State you work in.
  • If you work permanently in two or more EU States, you are usually insured in the EU State of residence.
  • If you temporarily work in another EU Member State from where the company is based, you will be insured by the Member State that your company is based in.

How can EU Blue Card holders get health insurance?

Depending on which country you will be working in, you will most likely have to purchase private comprehensive health insurance before you travel to the EU.

So, even though you will be insured by your employer’s social security system once you start working, you still have to obtain travel health insurance beforehand since it is a requirement of the application process. You need private health insurance, in the beginning, to cover you for the time that the insurance provided by your employer takes to come into effect.

To find health insurance plans for the country in which you will be working, you should look at different health insurance providers and compare plans online. You should look for plans which have comprehensive coverage, and read the policies carefully before choosing one to purchase. You do not want to be left with a plan that offers no real coverage just because it was cheaper to purchase.

Are family members included in EU Blue Card health insurance?

If you apply for family reunification for your dependent family members, then you can include them on the health insurance plan that your employer has provided for you. Dependents include your spouse and any children under the age of 18.

However, in some states, there may be restrictions regarding the dependents you can include on your health insurance, either by that country’s legislation or the requirements of the health insurance plan. For example, you may only be able to include your spouse if he/she has an income below a certain point – if he/she has a high income, they may need their own insurance.

What does health insurance for EU Blue Card holders include?

If you have health insurance in the EU, you should expect to get reimbursement or coverage for the following:

  • Outpatient care
  • Inpatient care
  • Emergency room services
  • Prescription medicine
  • Before and after birth care
  • Mental health, behavior, and substance abuse services
  • Physical and occupational therapy
  • Laboratory tests
  • Preventive medicine
  • Pediatric services
  • Dental services
  • Rehabilitative services and devices

The amount of coverage depends on the health insurance plan your employer has provided as well as the legislation of the specific EU State.

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