Today, the health care system in France is rightfully considered one of the best. The current system of health care in France was introduced in distant 1945 and has recently proven its effectiveness. Of course, it is criticized like any other one. 

Even the US medicare program with its great medicare Part D may have certain errors. But, it is very significant that 75% of French people are quite satisfied with the domestic medical care. Any medical service in France as well as in the US and many other countries is provided on the terms of medical insurance, which can be of two types – mandatory and voluntary. 

Almost everyone has already heard about the famous in the US. What about France? Are there any benefits the healthcare system offers? Learn about the types of health insurance that are valid in France and find out who can use them. 

Compulsory Insurance in France – How Does It Work?

Public health insurance in France is mandatory and covers 89% of the population. In 2006, each insured received almost 1,890 euros for reimbursement for sickness care, and the total payments in 2009 amounted to 138.4 billion euros.

There are three modes of compulsory health insurance:

  • On the basis of social and professional criteria. This applies to all employees, including students;
  • As family members or dependents of such employees;
  • As part of universal health insurance. It applies to people who do not fit the above criteria.

The size of contributions is established by the state – funds are collected by local departments of social security. Their level is quite high – about 19.4% of salary. However, the employee himself pays only a third of the amount, and the rest – the employer.

The Carte Vitale – An Essential Attribute of Health Insurance

The Carte Vitale compulsory health insurance card guarantees protection in 5 cases: illness, industrial accident, occupational disease, pregnancy and childbirth, and disability.

If an accident has occurred at work, 100% of expenses are covered, in other circumstances, 75% is compensated, and the remainder is paid by the patient on his/her own. This universal principle also applies when paying for doctor’s visits, and when purchasing drugs at a pharmacy, when passing through diagnostic examinations and procedures. 

In practice, it looks like this: For example, a patient buys medicine and pays for it with a Carte Vitale card. Then, within 5 days, a person gets back the 75% of the spent money on the account. It’s one of the pros the French system has. 

Voluntary Medical Insurance – For Those Who Want More

Many French people believe that reimbursement by the state of 75% of medical expenses is not enough. In addition, compulsory insurance does not cover the services of a dentist, or the purchase of contact lenses, massage, etc. For those who wish to protect themselves from such expenses, a system of voluntary medical insurance was proposed.Voluntary insurance offers patients greater freedom of choice, as well as a greater range of reimbursable medical services. Therefore, despite fairly substantial monthly payments, 93% of the French population use additional private insurance. Dental, ophthalmologic treatment, as well as preventive services can be paid only with the help of voluntary insurance.

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