The French health service – despite having problems – is known around the world for providing high quality healthcare at low prices.
However how low the cost really is varies greatly from person to person, with your age, financial situation, and whether or not you have top-up insurance known as a mutuelle – and how generous that is – all playing a part in how much you pay for your healthcare in France.
We've taking a look at what you can claim back from the French state with your carte vitale if you have the basic cover afforded by the card, with no top-up insurance.
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There are basically two areas to charging in French healthcare – appointments with medical professionals and then the cost of any treatment (medication, tests, scans or surgery) that they prescribe.
When you visit any kind of medical professional in France you will pay on the spot for the cost of the appointment, which can come as a surprise to Brits reared on the NHS's free at the point of delivery model.
However the medic will then swipe your carte vitale and the French state will reimburse you with some of the cost of the appointment.
What percentage of the cost you are reimbursed, however, is complicated and varies by many factors including your situation (your age, whether you are in work or studying) and by the type of doctor that you see.
The standard charge for an appointment with a médecin généraliste (general practitioner or family doctors) is €25 and the standard reimbursement rate is 70 percent, so you pay €25 and the government pays you back €16.50.
However, as with French grammar, there are lots of exceptions.
Doctors work under two sectors – sector one doctors mostly charge the standard €25 apart from in exceptional circumstances, while sector two doctors are entitled to charge more, and you will not get refunds for any amount over the €25 minimum.