Reminder regarding the reimbursement of cross-border healthcare services

What is the situation regarding payment for an MRI abroad?

Following recent questions raised on social networks, we would like to make it clear that the procedure for reimbursement of MRI carried out abroad has not changed. A formal request for prior authorisation is therefore not required for reimbursement (despite recent changes to hospital law, see "Good to know" below).

As the waiting time taken to provide medical imaging services will only be gradually reduced in Luxembourg, despite new sites that have been created, an MRI performed abroad will continue to be reimbursed without prior authorisation from the CNS, with such authorisation being implicitly given because of the current waiting times in Luxembourg.

When is prior authorisation from the CNS required?

In the case of scheduled treatment abroad, various services are subject to prior authorisation:

  • treatment provided in specialised rehabilitation, convalescence and spa establishments,
  • inpatient hospital care, i.e. care requiring at least one overnight stay in hospital,
  • as well as for all services requiring the use of highly specialised and costly medical infrastructure or equipment (listed in Appendix 3 of the Hospital Act of 8 March 2018). If possible, information on the medical equipment and appliances used for treatment abroad should be included under point 3 of the application form for prior authorisation of a transfer abroad.

Good to know

The law of 29.07.2023 (Mémorial A n°478/2023) added new services to appendix 3 of the hospital law. The aim of these changes is to increase the number of sites in order to facilitate geographical access to quality services and to increase the number of units outside the main sites. These changes are a continuation of efforts already underway to reduce waiting times, in particular the extension of access times for MRI equipment. As the waiting times for these services will only be gradually reduced in Luxembourg, despite the new sites created, the services covered without prior agreement from the CNS will be maintained, with agreement implicitly given due to the current waiting times in Luxembourg.

For furher information, please visit our page « Treatment abroad ».

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