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The French government scheme that helps cover the cost of therapy

Genevieve Mansfield
Genevieve Mansfield - [email protected]
The French government scheme that helps cover the cost of therapy
A man holds a mug on a couch in Toulon, southern France (Photo by Nicolas TUCAT / AFP)

The French government launched 'Mon Soutien Psy' in 2020, in an effort to help people afford psychological care. In June, the scheme will be expanded.

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What is 'Mon Soutien Psy'?

It is a scheme that allows anyone aged three and over who is suffering from anxiety, depression or mental distress to benefit from psychological support sessions, the cost of which is partially reimbursed by the state.

Currently, people can benefit from up to eight counselling sessions in a year with the assistance of Assurance Maladie, as long as the appointment is done with a psychologist registered to the scheme. 

Previously, it has been difficult for people to find an available psychologist due to high demand. However, with the changes coming into effect on June 15th (increasing the price per session and the number of sessions covered, as well as removing the requirement to visit a doctor for a referral beforehand), the government hopes it will be more accessible.

That being said, patients must use the psychologists who are registered with the scheme, and as a result, English-speakers may be limited.

READ MORE: Ask the expert: How to find an English-speaking therapist in France

Who can participate?

Anyone who is "anxious or depressed; feeling unwell; with a smoking, alcohol or cannabis problem; or struggling with an eating disorder" can participate.

It is not intended for patients in emergency situations - ie those risk of suicide or dealing serious psychiatric issues. They will be referred to a psychiatrist or specialised facility.

How does it work?

As things stand in May 2024, the patient must first visit a doctor. This normally would be your GP, but it can also be any other doctor 'charged with your care', including other local GPs, paediatricians, geriatricians, and more.

After evaluating you, the doctor can give you a referral (courrier d’adressage) to a psychologist. This step will change in June 2024, and patients will be able to consult registered psychologists directly.

You can find the list of participating psychologists (HERE) to make an appointment.

Your first session will be for evaluation purposes. The psychologist will then determine the number of follow-up sessions (up to seven, but soon to be increased to 11) based on your needs. 

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How much is reimbursed?

As with other medical appointments in France, you pay the practitioner and later receive a reimbursement. 

The reimbursement rate is 60 percent, and the remaining 40 percent is either out-of-pocket or covered by your complementary healthcare plan (mutuelle).

The fist session costs €40, and the follow-up sessions currently cost €30. However, starting in June 2024, they will be increased to €50 in an attempt to attract more psychologists to participate in the scheme. They will remain reimbursed at the 60 percent rate.

READ MORE: Health insurance in France: What you need to know about a mutuelle

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If you are in the following situations, then you do not have to pay anything up-front.

  • Beneficiaries of the Complémentaire santé solidaire scheme ;
  • Beneficiaries of state medical aid (AME);
  • People with disabilities or long-term illnesses (Affection de Longue Durée - ALD) 
  • Pregnant women (from the 6th month of pregnancy);
  • People under care in connection with an accident at work or occupational illness.
How can I get reimbursed?

In the coming years, the system will be incorporated into your Carte Vitale, so you will not need to mail in any reimbursement forms.

However, as things stand, you must request a feuille de soins at each session and mail it into Assurance Maladie to get your reimbursement. You would also send this to your mutuelle, depending on your situation.

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Comments (1)

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Deborah G 2024/05/29 18:14
Now if only they would move away from Freud and explore more current alternatives.

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