Quick Healthcare Reimboursement Question?

Just when I think I am getting the hang of the healthcare system after 18 months of living here, I am again a little confused! I have however just about mastered the art of confusion and increased patience!

I have a Carte Vital (RAM/RSI as self employed) and have a mutuelle just for hospitalisation cover (as I cannot afford full cover).

Normally when I go to the doctors or see a specialist I pay with my Carte vitalle and reimbursement arrives maybe a week later in my bank account. This time I have been to the local Laboratoire on a couple of visits, they have swiped my cartle vitale and then I have paid about 30 euros per visit. I assumed this was the 100% rate I usually pay and expected to get reimboursed the extra 70% or so into my bank account. It didn't come after 6 weeks, checked with RAM and they had no record of it, checked with the Laboratoire and they said this amount is only repayable by a Mutuelle and then they totally confused me! (My French may be improving all the time, but still has some limitations!) My question therefore is 'Do Laboratoires simply charge you 30% up front rather than ask for the full 100% and then there is no reimboursement?'

Thanks anyone that can shed some light on this one!

Nicole xx

Thanks Brian - really appreciated - slowly making sense of things .... I believe! x

When you have a carte vitale, each year you may notice that one or another of doctor or pharmacy will asks to see the annual replacement card. The details go into your carte vitale details, so that the mutuelle insurance company are automatically informed of the payment. What your cover does not allow for is simply not reimbursed and this appears to be the case. The €30 is the part they charge you that the mutuelle would repay.