In Belgium, all employees and self-employed must register and make contributions to one of five free health insurance funds or mutualities (in Dutch: mutualiteit or ziekenfonds, in French: mutuelle): Christelijke Mutualiteiten; Socialistische Mutualiteiten; Liberale Mutualiteiten; Onafhankelijke Ziekenfondsen and Neutrale Ziekenfondsen. Within these mandatory health insurances, which are paid by social benefits and government subsidies, patients are free to choose their own medical professionals and places of treatment. To increase the cover for medical costs, however, Belgian residents are allowed to add private supplementary health insurances to their mutuality.
In 2015, the average health insurance premium per capita in Belgium reached a value of approximately 133 euros per capita. This is lower than the European average and the premium per capita in the Netherlands, where health insurances are paid outside one's gross salary.