As many here know my wife Fran went into a care home for a week’s respite back in June while I, after much toing and froing on the decision, went to England for a reunion.
With the help of Gill one of our health carers, I filled in an extensive form one of the questions on which was ‘who pays?’ We put down APA, the organisation which supplies some of our health visitors and which charges us around €70 a month but, which always comes back in the form of a reimbursement from the Departement, in the form of APA.
When I took her in I was required to sign multiple forms one of which contained our bank account number. I asked if there was anything for us to pay and was told ‘no’.
The same question and answer when I collected her 8 days later.
When I got her home I was very concerned for her health, I began to get an inkling that became a conviction that she had spent most of her time in bed, or at least in a wheelchair because she had totally lost the ability to walk with assistance, as she had been able to before. So the Pompiers came and whisked her off to hospital where she spent the next 9 days, very definitely all in bed.
Ever since she came back she has been in bed and only now, today, 6 weeks or so later have we, the aide and I gingerly got her upright to sit on the edge of the bed for her wash and to see if she can stand. She can, just about and we will attempt to walk her a very short distance tomorrow.
But, all that aside, on the 20th of July we got a bill which I thought was from the hospital because it mentioned Perigueux Hospitals at the top, for €538.86. The very kind and concerned Karine at the pharmacy was outraged by this and had a long conversation on the telephone the result of which was that we had failed to notice the panel further down the document which said Nontron. The hospital was free (a surprise because in the past we had paid a small ‘journalier’ charge for stays) and this charge was for the care home at Nontron. Furthermore it was taken directly from our account.
That was that we thought, until a month later, on the 21st of August, another bill for the same thing for €153.96. Again taken out of the account, the total of which was now €538.86.
Not at all pleased but then I accepted it as I thought a distinction was made between health charges, for which Fran should be covered by both ALD and her S1, and what was in effect simply a one week ‘holiday’ in a care home.
Imagine my horror this morning when I opened yet another bill, this time referring to the hospital stay, for €600. In fact the 9 day stay cost €10,117.71 of which our contribution, so far unpaid, was the €600 and must be paid immediately.
So, a total of € 1,138.86 for a person who is not supposed to pay anything, which is the reason why she does not need a mutuelle. In fact, the cost of a mutuelle for everything for the whole year would not have come to much more than that.
The next step, a discussion with Gill this evening, another with Karine tomorrow, and then I suspect a third with the Assistante Sociales the next time they come around.