Is it worth having a Mutuelle?

We have a Mutuelle and have had for many years but quite frankly at euros 110 per month I am beginning to wonder if it is worth it. I was toying with the idea of changing it to hospitalisation only but not even sure that is a good plan.
I would appreciate others views on the matter.

It might be useful to have a look at the following thread:

You need to consider your own health and attitude to risk. If you are generally healthy, or have an ALD that covers your main medical acts, and no major eye or teeth issues then you are someone a mutuelle will love as they will make lots of money out of you. And perhaps worth considering options.

If you are a regular in doctors’s surgeries and specialist clinics then you are probably getting your money’s worth.

Presumably you have online accounts so you can do the basic sums for the past few years? How much has mutuelle cost me + how much have I paid out myself - what mutuelle has paid me = an idea of whether the benefits outweigh the costs.

They didn’t for us, and we moved to a hospital only policy a couple of years ago and are happier with the outgoings. Off-hand I think it is saving us over 1,200€ a year (can’t quite remember) so we have already built up a nest egg for unforeseen circumstances… and even more happily we have not needed to claim on the policy so I don’t begrudge the cost. When we were younger we had no mutuelle at all, but these days in mid 60’s a hospital policy seems sensible.

In fact that was one of the reasons why we stopped paying out over 200 euros a month - I Do have major teeth issues and the amounts I was getting back from the mutuelle were paltry.

Thanks Nigel and Jane.
I should of course have said that we are in good health. Apart from an episode this summer whereby I had extreme fatigue and my bloods were all over the place ( the doctor said it was a viral liver infection though tests for Hep A, B and C were all clear fortunately) I only go to the doctor’s for my gym certificate.
If I were milking the Mutuelle I would not be asking this question.
I think the main factor is how much risk is one happy to take. Generally I have always been willing to take risks though age has tempered this somewhat.
I really was looking for others views on the matter. There will be no definitive answer but good information promotes good decisions. I think already that the ‘hospital only’ plan may be best for the next few years anyway.

The other thing to bear in mind is that most policies allow you to increase your level of cover during the year, so if you think there is something looming that will cost a lot like loads of kiné or scans and outpatient treatments you can get increased cover (or very expensive dental treatment!). You do have to stay at that level for the rest of the year, but it does allow a bit of flexibility.

I don’t know the answer to this question - but it is one I’ve asked myself.
We have a mutual too - largely I think because it’s what most people do, and we just went along with it. But is it really cost-effective? How can you ever work that out?

Easy-peasy. Add it up.

A+B-C= either a positive or negative result. Average over a couple of years, then adjust that according to your personal risk aversion. Then stick finger in air and gauge your health forecast.

1 Like

There are mutuelles and mutuelles and before I met @fabien we were paying around 150 for the five of us with fairly rubbish dental cover. He found us a policy that was 10e more per month but the cover was vastly better, especially for the teeth and orthodontics which had been costing me a fortune. I had a 4k bill earlier this year and only ended up around 3/400 out of pocket so definitely shop around.


Yes - exactly - easy to do historically, but pricing future risk is the tricky bit…
The mutuals are no doubt full of mathematics PhD actuaries - but working I’m sure on data bases of hundreds of thousands, possibly millions of people. What chance do we have?

Mutuelle are a waste of money - until of course you need to pay a huge bill . Like all insurances.


Interesting…thanks Jane.

Hi Jane, you are correct but forget to factor in that most policies that can allow you to do that will also have a waiting period on that extra cover (usually 6 months but it depends on the insurance company) :wink:

Hi again, as we digging to the math there is also an interesting thing to point that: French insurers are legally bound (by law) to make money. So if they end-up refunding more that they’ve cashed in they’ll have to compensate on future premiums… At the end of the day this is a zero sum game at best :wink:

And they have to meet their own costs - so obviously (like all insurance, as has been pointed out) for the average person in the average year it’s NOT worth it… problem is, that doesn’t mean it’s not worth it for you, this particular year!


Which is why we do have in-patient hospital cover, which is where the big expenses lie. As I understand it, the other large expenditures - cancer / heart disease / etc are covered anyway by the state.

This is the catch 22…

I came to France having “never been ill” (apart from childhood stuff)… so one might think Mutuelle not worth having…

Thankfully (sadly actually) OH was so very ill that we took out a decent one to cover us both.

After a couple of years my health fell apart… and Mutuelle has saved our bacon…

140 sessions of Kiné over 8 months … is just one example…

My situation is ongoing… but this year I’ve been ok… touch wood

1 Like

Same here Stella - I would have lost huge sums paying for mutual cover between the ages of 20 and 50 (had I been in France then) - but of course as we get older health problems are more likely. Since coming to France I’ve had cancer - no problem - ALD - but also kidney stones, which have meant lots of hospital visits.
So I guess my answer to the question ‘Is it worth having a Mutuelle?’ is: not if you’re 20, yes if you’re 60.

1 Like

I believe that Mutuelle costs less at the point of entry… depending on age…

The younger you are, the lower the annual charge and increases can only rise by a certain % each year… so by the time one is older… one could well be getting excellent top-grade mutuelle at a smaller price…

Us older ones… joining at an older age comes at a greater cost…

(this is what was explained to me, ages ago… sadly, when I was no longer “young”)

We are judging it on a year by year basis. At the moment hospital only cover does us nicely. If at any point we feel this is no longer wise we will change - mid-year if need be.

And we have no loyalty to any one insurance company…they bank on people not bothering to change so I believe it is a fallacy to thing you gain by staying with one company.

1 Like