Each country's health system is different and might not include all the things you would expect to get free of charge from the NHS. This means you may have to make a patient contribution to the cost of your care.
Visitors to Luxembourg
Finding help in an emergency
If you find yourself in a serious, life-threatening emergency, you should call 112. This number is free of charge and is also for the police and fire brigade.
Be aware that if you ask a hotel or travel representative to call a doctor, you may be treated privately. If you wish to be treated under the state system you must call 112 and ask for an ambulance to take you to the nearest state hospital.
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 with the schedule published in newspapers, pharmacies and doctors' offices.
All persons are treated in an emergency regardless of insurance. However, lack of medical insurance can be very expensive.
Healthcare up until the UK leaves the EU
The government always advises UK citizens to take out travel insurance when going overseas, both to EU and non-EU destinations.
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 (European Health Insurance Card). You should always buy enough travel insurance and make sure you have access to funding to cover any medical treatment abroad. Remember to keep all receipts and any paperwork (make copies if necessary) as they might be needed by you or your insurance company to apply for any refund.
Currently, your EHIC enables you to access the necessary state-provided healthcare in Luxembourg at a reduced cost, or sometimes for free if you are staying there temporarily. If you are asked to pay for health services upfront, it is likely that you are not being treated under the state health system.
EHIC does not cover certain costs, including:
- private treatment
- being brought back to the UK
- mountain rescue services
Be careful if healthcare arrangements are made by a hotel or travel representative. They might reassure visitors that they can claim back whatever is paid out, but they are referring to private insurance and not the treatment given under the EHIC.
Provisional replacement certificate (PRC)
A PRC is a certificate demonstrating a person's entitlement to EHIC. If you need healthcare but do not have your EHIC with you, you can call Overseas Healthcare Services and ask them to send a PRC to show to the hospital. This will avoid you being directly charged.
Contact Overseas Healthcare Services:
UK: 0191 218 1999
Outside UK: +44 191 218 1999
(Open Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm, UK time)
People with pre-existing health conditions
If you have a pre-existing health condition, you should buy medical travel insurance before visiting Luxembourg. You must tell the insurance company about any pre-existing health conditions you have, to make sure you can get the cover you need. If you have an EHIC, this will be valid the UK leaves the EU, but may not work after that.
If you have a pre-existing condition that will need treatment while abroad, ask your doctor in the UK for advice before you travel. Make sure you take with you any documents about your health condition or medication.
If you are travelling for the express purpose of obtaining medical treatment, see our section about seeking medical treatment in Europe.
Planned treatment for people residing in Luxembourg is covered through statutory health insurance for eligible persons. If you are 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 or in health centres. 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 (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.
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 which contain a single active ingredient, and which are intended to combat particularly serious or chronic illnesses
- the reduced rate of 40% applies to non-essential pharmaceutical products of more limited therapeutic use
When using your EHIC, people of working age are charged 50% and pensioners are charged about 10%. Pensioners will have to declare they receive a UK State Pension in order 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 extra legal controls apply to these medicines.
You may need a personal licence to take controlled medicines abroad.
Specific requirements also apply to:
- the information that you must take with you
- how you carry your controlled medicines
You can visit the GOV.UK website for more information about travelling with controlled medicines.
After the UK leaves the EU
If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, your access to healthcare when visiting Luxembourg is likely to change. If you are planning to visit Luxembourg after the UK leaves the EU, you should continue to buy travel insurance so you can get the healthcare treatment you need, just as you would if visiting a non-EU country. If you are using an EHIC issued by the UK, this will still be valid until the UK leaves the EU.
The UK government is seeking agreements with countries, including Luxembourg, on healthcare arrangements for UK nationals after the UK leaves the EU.
This guide will be updated with further information on travelling to Luxembourg as the circumstances change.
Working in Luxembourg
Healthcare up until the UK leaves the EU
EHIC does not cover residency of over 90 days in Luxembourg, therefore UK nationals living and/or working in Luxembourg must follow the registration process in order 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 (Caisse Nationale de Santé – CNS).
If you live in Luxembourg, you are required to make social security contributions to entitle you and your dependant family members to healthcare.
If you work less than 3 months per calendar year, you are 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. Treatment reimbursement rate varies from 80% to 100%. Some costs are paid directly by the CNS, but you will 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.
If you are a worker posted by a UK company to Luxembourg, you may be entitled to health cover funded by the UK in the country you are posted to. Contact HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) for more details:
National Insurance Contributions and Employer Office
HM Revenue and Customs
- Telephone: 0300 200 3500
- Outside UK: +44 191 203 7010
Opening times: 8.30am to 5pm, Monday to Friday – closed weekends and bank holidays.
For more information, see Planning your healthcare when moving abroad.
After the UK leaves the EU
If you are a UK posted worker, you may need to buy additional healthcare insurance in Luxembourg so you can receive the healthcare treatment you need. The Luxembourg government has recently published information on their approach to UK nationals in Luxembourg after the UK's exit from the EU, currently only available in French.
You can only apply for a job in Luxembourg if your employer has failed to recruit a Luxembourg national within 3 weeks of posting the job advert, and if they have received an exemption certificate from the director of the National Employment Agency (Agence pour le développement de l'emploi – ADEM).
When applying for a job you must also apply for temporary authorisation to stay in Luxembourg.
If you are self-employed, in order to apply for a temporary authorisation to stay in Luxembourg you must provide proof of:
- required qualifications to carry out your job
- registration on any applicable professional lists or registers
- sufficient resources to carry out the desired activity in Luxembourg, and
- your job serves Luxembourg's interests in terms of social or cultural interest or economic benefit
To become a resident in Luxembourg you must register with the census office (Bureau de la population) of the communal administration of your new place of residence within 3 days of arrival.
If you wish to stay in Luxembourg for more than 3 months you must, before entering the country, apply for an authorisation to stay (autorisation de séjour) to the Immigration Directorate of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs.
Depending on your reason for staying in Luxembourg, you may need to apply for a residence permit (titre de séjour). Applicants for residence permits must undergo a medical examination by a doctor established in Luxembourg.
After 5 years of continuous lawful stay in Luxembourg, you may make an application to obtain long-term resident status from the Immigration Directorate of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs. You must meet certain conditions to be approved for long-term residence status, including:
- having stable, regular and sufficient resources
- suitable housing, and
- health insurance certificate for yourself and your family
Pensioners in Luxembourg
Healthcare up until the UK leaves the EU
If you live in Luxembourg and receive an exportable UK pension, contribution-based Employment Support Allowance or another exportable benefit, you may be entitled to state healthcare paid for by the UK. You will need to apply for a certificate of entitlement known as an S1 certificate.
You may need to liaise with a different team, depending on the exportable benefit. Further information is available under Claiming benefits if you live, move or travel abroad on the GOV.UK website.
Please note that different exportable benefits can have different rules in terms of healthcare cover.
If you are living in Luxembourg and you receive an exportable UK Pension, contribution-based Employment Support Allowance or another exportable benefit, you may be entitled to state healthcare paid for by the UK. You will need to apply for a certificate of entitlement known as an S1 certificate.
S1 certificate (formerly known as E106)
An S1 certificate helps you and your dependants access healthcare in Luxembourg. If you have an S1 certificate, it will be valid after the UK leaves the EU.
After this date, the certificate may not be valid, depending on decisions by member states.
You should continue to apply for an S1 certificate after the UK leaves the EU.
You may be eligible for an S1 certificate, if you:
- have worked and paid contributions in the UK
- receive some UK benefits such as pensions
Apply through the Business Services Authority for an S1 certificate.
For exportable UK pensions and contribution-based Employment Support Allowance, you can apply for your certificate via the International Pension Centre in the Department for Work and Pensions on 0191 218 7777.
Further information is available under Claiming benefits if you live, move or travel abroad on the GOV.UK website. Please note that 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 and information on driving regulations in Luxembourg.
After the UK leaves the EU
If you meet the conditions for residence in Luxembourg, you will be eligible to access the state healthcare system.
You must have a EU/EEA/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 fulfil the conditions for family reunification. In this instance 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.
Students in Luxembourg
All students enrolled at university in Luxembourg must have health coverage.
If you do not have private insurance, you must personally enrol with the Joint Social Security Centre (CCSS) who will manage your contributions to be covered for healthcare.
You must provide proof of adequate healthcare insurance to cover you during your stay.
Page last reviewed: 28 January 2019
Next review due: 28 January 2022