Urgent hospital treatment payment regulations with EHIC - now the huissier

In July I tripped and needed stitches in my head at the A&E but no admission. We regularly spend a lot of time in France but are not resident.
I didn’t have the EHIC card with me at the hospital though. 3 weeks later I received an invoice for 127.20 euros with a covering letter and email address. I emailed a copy of my EHIC and then they asked for a copy passport and a UK address in order to “regularise” the account. All this was sent by mid September.
Knowing I may have to pay 20% or so I expected some amended invoice may arrive but there was nothing via post nor email.
On 21 Jan, out of the blue, I received an invoice from the huissier/baliffs, for 146.36 euros. Then today, 27th, I received a second huissier letter, headed “Dernier avis avant oppositions sur comptes bancaires et employeurs” which is both shocking and intimidating!! Meanwhile on 22 Jan I had emailed the hospital again, attaching everything and explaining that this was out of the blue and needed some explanation and correction!
Can anyone tell me the EU regulation which would have covered me (100% or 80%) for an emergency admission?? I intend to visit the hospital admissions office tomorrow and it would help to have the legislation to quote.

Unless I’m mistaken, if you haven’t got your EU medical card with you then you pay up-front and claim back later which is why you’ve been chased (completely normal procedure in France). See here for more detail, the part that affects you is at the bottom: * Oubli de la CEAM(actif)

Oubli de la CEAM

Vous pouvez être soigné en France mais vous devez faire l’avance de toutes vos dépenses médicales, y compris vos soins hospitaliers.

Une fois de retour dans votre pays, vous pourrez en obtenir le remboursement auprès de votre organisme d’assurance maladie. Gardez-bien les factures et de vos justificatifs de paiement. Ils vous seront demandés.

Things are far better than they used to be regarding emails but still a long way short of other countries, unfortunately in your case I presume nobody’s even read it. I’d settle up asap then claim the costs back :wink:

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I think I have read on the UK sites that folk traveling abroad should take out Health Insurance cover… and it did mention that while one might wave the EHIC card… one might well have to pay the Bill and subsequently claim back on returning to UK.

also, re France… I do know that due to the high incidence of unpaid health bills, the Huissier is brought in without warning if the Invoice is not paid within the appropriate timescale (2 weeks after receipt I think (?)… )

Under EU rules, the EHIC card gives you exactly the same rights to healthcare in a country, as that country provides to residents covered by its national healthcare system.

So, if a patient with a carte vitale would have been reimbursed 100%, your EHIC should pay 100%. If a patient with a carte vitale would have been reimbursed 70%, your EHIC should pay 70%.

The hospital receptionist will know the rules and you’ll probably find that she is very pleasant and helpful. The problem is that they are obliged to pursue debts, and since the original invoice was issued to you, they will pursue you until the UK pays it.
Depending what paperwork has or hasn’t been sent, it might be less stressful to pay the bill yourself and then claim the refund yourself. (I thought that was how it worked in any case - it’s a long time since I’ve been involved in this but many years ago, working for a French company, I took a young British employee to hospital, he had an EHIC but the hospital insisted on the bill being paid on the spot; he didn’t have enough money so in the end I paid it for him, then he claimed the money back on his EHIC and refunded me, several months later).

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@an_droo @anon27586881
That has always been my understanding too.
The patient pays the bill in full and submits the brown form to the UK for reimbursement.
The only way forward on this now is to pay the a/c in full including the additional fees to avoid further action being taken and further ramping up of the charges.

Actually on second thoughts, thinking about it a bit harder, I seem to remember that we went to the CPAM office together with his EHIC and feuille de soins etc, and he filled in a form so that the refund was paid into my bank account.
But I might be confused, Long time ago.
I do remember that the poor kid came off his skateboard and damaged his arm and shoulder, and he was told to wear a sling for 3 weeks, but he was working as a kitchen assistant and obviously he couldn’t have done his job with his arm in a sling and that would have been the end of his holiday job in France. He was determined not to be sent home so he ignored the advice and kept working. I was in a real dilemma over whether to say nothing or whether to tell head office. In the end I said nothing. I do hope he didn’t end up with permanent damage. He was a very nice kid.

Thanks to all of you for replying. I just spoke to french friends too and they recommended paying and then claiming back from EHIC, which I’m sure I can do. At this time the baliff/huissier part of the bill was only 19. 16 euros so not too much for the peace of mind vs having our bank account frozen!!!
In fact, my french friend, Carolyn, told me how her daughter was visiting from St Pierre et Miquelon, which is officially part of France (just like Reunion etc) and was obliged to pay a hospital bill also [her son needed an x-ray for a chest infection], despite being a french citizen!
So, I have now paid it and will have a go at reclaiming the 127 euros from EHIC.