French hospitals

Hi, recently spent 5 days in hospital due to gout and knee injury, expected 80% refund on the cost fron social security but none forthcoming, any body else had similar experience?

Did you hand over your Carte Vitale and Mutuelle info on entering hospital ??

and what have you actually paid for (noted on the Bill)

Without more details it’s hard to tell. If they have all your details then it is possible that what you are/have been asked to pay is the extras that are not reimbursed, like the forfait journalier, ticket modérateur, the cost of a single room, any dépassements honoraires of your doctors.

Or even that they are not operating tiers payant and the delay on reimbursement at your caisse is very long (can be months…l)

If you look on your Ameli account it should all be clear.

Hi, I was admitted via urgencies as I might have had a fractured knee and my carte vitale was scanned and my social number is on the invoice. I don’t have a mutual so was expecting to pay the balance and daily charge, not the whole amount 300€ per day!


Eur Ing. Graham F Pratt B.Sc(Hons)

Sorry about the knee, sounds painful.

First off are you sure the 300€ isn 't just the 20%? Hospital can be quite expensive so 1500€ a day would not shock me.

And if it is the whole thing if you arrived bis urgences then all the paperwork may not have been completed for the seçu contribution to be deducted automatically.

What is listed on your Ameli account?

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Ah, you were in hospital 5 days and you’ve paid a Bill whose amount equates to 300 euro per day… = 1500 euro ???

Definitely sounds as if that 1500 euro is only a small part of the Actual Costs… :wink:

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Was admitted via ambulance and ambulance cost has been paid by ameli but no mention of hospital cost on ameli. 300€ was per day!

Eur Ing. Graham F Pratt B.Sc(Hons)

From recent experience of a friend’s admission via urgences for a 5 day stay, the daily hospital rate was about 1300€ of which the state paid 80% leaving about 240€ (per day) to be paid by my friend. Your figure looks about right for your contribution, I’m afraid to say.

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Crikey, glad we have a mutuelle. The OH had a 5 day stay in hospital just over a year ago along with a full knee replacement, then she spent 8 days in a rehabilitation clinic plus another 8 days as an outpatient. Everything was paid by the state + mutuelle and we didn’t have to pay anything up front or afterwards. Didn’t really look at any of the costs as there was no need to, although we do have all the paperwork (of course :smile:). Sounds like we got our moneys worth and more that year.


My friend got a bill for over €40,000 when her husband had to spend 2 months in réanimation after picking up MRSA in the operating theatre from a cyst on the stomach operation. Eventually the mairie intervened and she paid around €500.

presumably the 500 euro was left after Ameli and Mutuelle had done their thing … … :wink:
and possibly the Hospital had Insurance if they were found to be at fault…

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that’s the beauty of Insurance… hope never to need it, but if you do… :+1: :crossed_fingers:

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Maybe. That’s what we glibly assumed, but it depends on the level you can afford and a sort of middle-priced option which is not cheap when one is in one’s middle/late 70s do not necessarily cover everything - far from it. Miserly amounts for teeth and eyes for example.

Yes, even at 300% it’s not possible to cover quite a lot in dentristry. 300% coverage is very expensive, but still not covering everything.

Also it’s easy to criticise someone for not having taken out insurance or for not understanding how much they would really need to take out in terms of coverage - but not everyone has unlimited means and even having tried their best, due to problems like the lack of the ability to even buy sufficient coverage for dentistry, for example, some people still end up in difficulty.

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Remember everyone that you can often upgrade a mutuelle in 24 hours. Have to keep it that level for a year, and then can return to the minimum. Look at the small print of your policy.

Obviously not much use when you are stretchered straight into the operating block, but many circumstances where a bit of an upgrade can be worth it.


Thanks Jane, we considered it beforehand but a week seemed manageable. By the time it became apparent all was not well it was too late. OH was reluctant beforehand to take the additional monthly payments with a higher premium. We are already at the limit of what we can afford. Again, as I’ve already emphasised, it’s almost impossible to get a figure for what it will all cost beforehand and my experience with my pacemaker op 2 years ago and friends saying “you’ll be fine he’s ALD” had led us to assume it would be the same for him. Far from it.

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I’ve not noticed anyone criticising …

To Insure or Not to Insure… that is the question… and each person makes their own choice.

Many of us are on low incomes… don’t get enough to pay Tax, but not quite low enough to be eligible for the Free/ Cheap French State Mutuelle Insurance.

For us Mutuelle Insurance can be a major part of one’s budget, an expenditure which is not undertaken lightly. We do the best we can.

This thread has highlighted the various costs of Hospitalisation… which is probably something most of us were blissfully unaware of before… or we hadn’t counted the full costs… aaargh

and I think it’s been very worthwhile that the discussion has delved into all this…
prompted us to look at our own Mutuelles (if we have one) and check levels of Cover and what the French Health Service is likely to cost us.

It’s certainly clear that Hospitalisation without any Mutuelle is going to be expensive… and one needs to be prepared for that…

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For comparison purposes, my recent emergency stay in hospital was 1750€ per day in intensive care, and 1350€ per day in orthopedics. Total of about 9500€ for 6 days. Insurers eventually paid 80%, with shortfall for me of @2500. The standard day rate seemed to include absolutely everything, even a 1000€ bespoke surgical corset.

Be glad you don’t live in the US. My daughter admitted she was put off having kids because of the cost involved. It costs thousands just to go to the dentist and if you work, you don’t get much more than 50% covered and a lot less in some jobs. Even the cat and the dog cost them thousands of dollars in vet fees when it was needed and a simple ambulance call out, several hundred dollars to travel about 15mins.

The other thing to consider if budgets are tight is that one can get a hospitalisation only policy, which is what we have. It is significantly cheaper and pays nothing for the day to day medical bills, but gives 400% cover for all inpatient things. Our day to day medical costs are minimal and less than cost of a full mutuelle (most of mine are covered by ALD), so this option suits us well.