A medical device is a supply, an appliance, an instrument or other device, used for treating a disease, an injury or to improve the anatomy or a physiological process of the patient.
Medical devices are grouped into different files, depending on their method of delivery (Annex A of the CNS statutes).
How are devices covered in the different lists?
Dispensing method and reimbursement rate
Purchase of devices
Most of the devices on the various lists (B files) must be purchased. The list in which the device is included indicates the reference price or selling price and the rate applied to each device or group of devices of the same type.
What are the different lists of medical devices?
File B1- Small-scale medical products
This file lists devices of a "smaller"nature as special bandages, syringes and needles, catheters, urinary incontinence products, blood and urine tests, glucose meters, insulin pumps, inhalation devices, canes and crutches, lower/upper limb or spinal column supports, wigs, eye prostheses, breast prostheses and accessories, etc.
File B2 - Larger-scale products
This file includes supplies that are only sold on a rental basis (with a rental contract), in particular:
- Oxygen therapy equipment for out-patient use
- Anti-decubitus cushions and mattresses
- Canes with 3 or more feet, walking frames with or without wheels
- Patient lifts
- Feeding tube
- Detachable beds and bases with motorised adjustment
- Cardio-respiratory monitoring - Monitoring of children at risk of sudden death
Medical devices on the B2 list are usually rented by the "Service Moyens Accessoires (SMA)", usually as part of a long-term care insurance file. The rent is either set out in the B2 list or established on the basis of an estimate. The reimbursement rate is set out in the list and is generally 100%.
File B3 - Hearing aids
This list includes all hearing correction devices, earmolds and accessories, as well as the respective reimbursement rate and lump sum.
More practical information on the conditions for reimbursement, the procedures to be followed beforehand, renewal deadlines and reimbursement terms and conditions can be found on our "Hearing aids" page.
Lists medical devices for persons having undergone a laryngectomy, persons with a tracheostomy or persons who suffer from a respiratory pathology.
File B5: Medical nutrition products
This list includes medical nutrition products, such as special baby milks, gluten-free products, protein-free products, nappies for children with incontinence, etc.
Medical feeding products for babies and children
If you need special food products for children, you can contact your paediatrician directly, who will take care of the necessary procedures.
These products fall under the medical nutrition products covered up to a maximum of €276.75 per six-month period.
Conditions for reimbursement
The Social Security Medical Board (CMSS) must give its approval on the basis of a medical file demonstrating the pathology from which the protected person suffers. The protected person must be able to present a medical diagnosis of coeliac disease.
Difference between coeliac disease or gluten intolerance and non-celiac gluten sensitivity
Coeliac disease or gluten intolerance is a chronic, autoimmune condition caused by the consumption of gluten, which leads to inflammation of the walls of the small intestine and progressively reduces the intestine's ability to absorb food.
Non-coeliac gluten sensitivity differs from intolerance in that, although similar symptoms may occur, gluten sensitivity does not cause intestinal damage and cannot be detected by blood tests, since no antibodies are produced.
Certificate of coverage
The medical prescription should be sent to the following address:
Caisse nationale de santé
Service Autorisations médicaments, dispositifs médicaux, orthopédie et transport
If the request is approved, the person concerned will receive a certificate of coverage, which they should send together with their invoice for the gluten-free products to the CNS.
The protected person must have the certificate BEFORE purchasing the products.
To claim reimbursement, the protected person must submit detailed, receipted invoices, excluding receipts, WITH the certificate of coverage. The invoices must show the precise nature of the goods and their brand name.
This list includes medical devices that can only be supplied on medical prescription to hospitals for treatment outside the hospital sector. The hospital takes care of everything.
Do I need a prescription or authorisation to be entitled to a medical device?
Some devices require a doctor's prescription. In principle, the doctor knows the conditions and formalities required to receive the device or the approval for the device.
Prescriptions for devices registered in files B1 or B2 must be used either within the time limit indicated by the doctor on the prescription or, if no time limit is indicated, within three months of the date of issue.
Certain medical devices may be reimbursed only with the prior agreement of the Social Security Medical Board.
What about products that are not in one of the files, can they be covered?
A medical device, instrument or supply that is not on one of the lists (B files) in the CNS statutes cannot be reimbursed by the health insurance scheme.
Can I buy medical devices abroad and receive reimbursement?
Whether costs are covered depends on whether the medical device was purchased in an EU, EEA or Swiss country or outside the EU. A distinction must also be made between a purchase made as part of an emergency abroad and a planned purchase abroad.
Purchase in an EU, EEA country or Switzerland
Medical devices from file B1 purchased occasionally abroad, such as compresses, etc., may be reimbursed. The prescription must be issued in advance. In addition, the brand name must match that on the B1 list. It is possible to obtain reimbursement for more than one device if the prescription so provides.
Purchase in a country outside the EU, EEA and Switzerland
Medical devices may be purchased in countries outside the EU, EEA and Switzerland in an emergency or if the person absolutely needs them for a prolonged stay (e.g. if the device is forgotten or lost, or if the person is unable to take the device with them due to lack of space during the journey).
For any reimbursement, the invoice and the doctor's prescription explaining the circumstances justifying the purchase must be sent to the CNS.
If it turns out that the purchase was made deliberately, without any urgency or immediate need for the device, the costs will be fully charged to the insured.