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The new website for claiming back transport costs to medical appointments in France

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The new website for claiming back transport costs to medical appointments in France
Photo: AFP
09:56 CEST+02:00
A little-known perk of France’s social security system is the reimbursement patients get for travel costs if they have regular medical appointments. Here’s what you have to do to claim.

France’s social security system - popularly known as la Sécu - is well known for having one of the best public healthcare schemes in the world. 

There are many perks available to holders of a French carte vitale medical card - from free condoms to nicotine substitutes or even a spa treatment - but one of the lesser known privileges taxpayers in France enjoy is the reimbursement of travel expenses for trips to and from the hospital.

READ MORE: Five surprising things available on your French health insurance

This applies to anyone who drives or is driven to hospital for an appointment, rather than using a state ambulance.

The reimbursable amount ranges from €2 for a single trip to €9.75 for a round trip if you live 25km from the health centre. It’s also possible to claim back money for tolls, Metro tickets or parking.

This system is geared primarily towards patients with chronic conditions who need to visit their doctor regularly, as they can soon find their travel costs mounting up, especially if hey live in a remote area.

So how do you claim back?

In a nutshell, you can claim back mileage costs through your carte vitale health insurance card.

A new website which helps to simplify the process of transport reimbursement has just been set up by CPAM (Caisse Primaire d’Assurances Maladie), France’s national health insurance administration.

READ MORE: How to get a carte vitale in France and why you need one

They’ve called it "My simplified repayments" and claim that "in just 3 clicks, your personal transport will be refunded in less than a week". 

Patients receiving long-term care as well as pregnant women get 100 percent reimbursement whereas all other patients who have to visit a health centre get 65 percent on every km (currently around 30 cents). 

Are there any conditions?

Apart from having a carte vitale, you’ll need to have a doctor’s recommendation (prescription médicale de transport) on which they’ve ticked the box "private car" or "public transport" depending on your condition and personal situation.

You’ll be able to claim for trips taken to the hospital as far back as two years but it’s essential that you hold onto every receipt for petrol, parking, tolls etc for at least 33 months.

If you don't drive, or feel too ill to brave public transport, you can arrange to be taken to hospital by a patient transport ambulance.

This varies from area to area - search transport sanitaire for your local area, or check the transport page on your account at ameli.fr.

READ ALSO What to do in a health emergency in France
 

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