Top-up health insurance 'mutuelle' in France

Well we are a family of four and I can assure you when we did have a mutuelle we spent 1200 and recovered 200ish. Yes it is insurance, you would expect to pay out more than you recover most years, I don't think I have ever made a car claim, and this year (cambriolé) was the first house claim I have made for ages, I expect to lose money. Insurance is to make sure that in the event of a true disaster you aren't bankrupted, like the house burning down for example. This doesn't happen as a result of the good French health system, and as such a mutuelle is not essential.

As for specs I get them from UK by internet, my specs prescription is about as complex as is possible, they cost erm, under £200, as opposed to 750€ here. Mutuelle schmutuelle.

I do get Valerie's point below about budgetting, but I still think it would be better to put 1000€ in an emergency fund, rather than pay 1000 every year which you'll never get back.

Exactly Valerie. Peace of mind is very important if there is no magic pot of money lying around. The unexpected may not happen, but you’ll be covered if it does. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

Being a single parent with the only income from anywhere being what I can earn myself, having a mutuelle is essential for me as it helps me budget. Granted, there is the monthly outlay but living almost hand to mouth otherwise I simply wouldn't have €500 for an ambulance or other costs just sitting in the bank. All my dosh goes on bills and taxes. It probably does end up that the monthly premium is simply 'gone' if I don't need to make a claim but it gives me the peace of mind to know that, heaven forbid, something happens to my child (or me) we're hopefully covered for the bulk of treatment.

I'm sure your glasses are not 'unaffordable' Steve but the calculation of how much you are prepared to pay out of your own pocket v. the amount contributed by the state v. the cost of the mutuelle is an individual decision.

I can assure you that as a family of 5 in good health but with the usual number of 'issues' over the course of a 12 month period that a mutuelle is essential.

I have yet to see a single convincing tale with hard numbers of an enormous and unaffordable medical bill after the secu have done thir bit. Speaking to Fabien yesterday the scariest he could come up with was hospital private room bills at (his figure) 50€ a day. People here have mentioned, oh a 500€ ambulance ride, sure, but when a family pays 1500€ annually you still finish up behind at the end of the year

My neighbour who works in the accounts for the hospital told me the best reason for having a mutuelle is to make sure the doctors don't skimp on tests and treament in an endeavour to save you money!!

I'd agree with your contact's points that they are "they are poorly understood, constructed to confuse, over sold and take advantage of people's naivety" which is why even though I'm quite insurance 'savvy' I've opted for professional independent advice.

I (personally) don't agree that they are unnecessary but I'm sure opinions depends on your personal circumstances and attitude to risk. For many of us with dodgy eyesight and kids needing braces they are essential but again, this is why it is so very important to get a policy that is right for you. And obviously exactly the same goes for house or car insurance too. No point going fully comp on an old banger!

I will ask himself about the survey. This may well be something we can look at!

This thread has enormous value. The Mutuelle Mystery could very well unravel. Post details, ask hard questions and do not accept automatically that you need a Mutuelle. I spoke to a surgeon yesterday that believes that Mutuelles are not necessary, they are poorly understood, constructed to confuse, over sold and take advantage of people's nativity (I can never spell that word). I wonder if the moderators of this site could do a "Survey Monkey" asking the simple question. Do you subscribe to a Mututelle? YES / NO. Keep it simple, the next survey could help build a data base of value.

Fabien has provided us with 3 quotes, and we will decide which one to take shortly. We have spoken to him a couple of times and he is more than willing to help with any info required, including understanding the system. His quotes may not differ in price much compared to some we did online, but they are likely to be more tailored to your circumstances.

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Much the same thing happened to me. So make a note and write it in your diary and send them a letter RECORDED DELIVERY two weeks before the alleged renewal date. There are templates on line if you don;t know what it needs to say or I'm sure Fabien will advise. x

Thanks for the advice Catharine. We are up for renewal in January. This year's renewal didn't get to us until the 3rd week of January. We were mighty miffed as we couldn't compare it to any other quotes. We shall just go for a better quote this year and write to them advising we are not interested anymore. It has just taken me almost 2 months to get the money for my dental treatment. They kept telling us to be patient. Now, there is patient and patient. x

Make sure you get in touch well before the renewal date Maureen - I've been caught out like that before and been stuck with a policy I didn't want :(

And I'm totally with you on the doing things in English thing - my French is fine but I still prefer to do the legal / complicated / technical stuff in my native language! x

We shall definitely give him a call/or email him when ours is up for renewal. Thanks for the tip and thank God for people infrance than can explain things in English. My French is getting better but with things like insurance and dealing with companies I need a liitle help.


Got it thanks.

It's safe to assume that if you see a product endorsement on SFN we'll be receiving some form of renumeration one way or another.

I just made the enquiry. I hope Fabien realizes that understanding the system is different than requesting a quote.

This system cannot endure. I just returned from a consultation with a surgeon for a small procedure. He as much as confirmed my suspicions.

It's so worthwhile getting some independent professional input. My kids have all needed orthodontic cover and the refunded % rates are never really made clear. It's taken me years to get my head round it! And glasses seem even more complicated!

You can read our disclosure policy here Steve

Please forgive me for asking, but can you please edit the original to confirm that you don't have any conflict of interest in making this very strong recommendation

Thank you for this advice and recommendation as we are delving into the joys of French medical policies! I am going to call Fabien!

Cheers Caro