Travel to France

30/04/2013 -- Admin
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Eiffel Tower, Tour de France, Disneyland Paris, The Louvre, castles, chateaux, vineyards, Provence, camping, posh cheese, Dordogne, Battlefield tours, Languedoc, Mont Blanc, French Alps, Val d’Isere, skiing, Chamonix, Lourdes, mountain biking, cycling, croissants, crepes, French Riviera, frog’s legs, mountaineering, climbing, Cote d’Azur…

Medical and Health

Documents needed:  EHIC and passport.

Doctors and Dentists

Unlike the UK, treatment isn’t free at point of delivery in France so you’ll need to pay for some things up front, even with the Europe Health Insurance Card (EHIC).

State-regulated or Conventionné doctors and dentists in Secteur 1 charge the official social security rate; in Secteur 2 there’s an extra fee on top of that.

Get a treatment form or 'feuille de soins' for claims/refunds and prescription if needed.

Charges are non-refundable while in France. Once back home in the UK you may be able to claim back around 70% of the standard treatment cost: 21 Euros (GPs); (25 Euros specialist).

Hospital Treatment and Ambulance Costs

Present your EHIC on admission to avoid paying refundable costs up front and to ensure you only pay the patient contribution for treatment - usually 20%, though sometimes it’s free.

If admitted to a private hospital or clinic, check if it's also registered for state healthcare, as the EHIC doesn’t cover private treatment.

With the EU medical card (formerly the E111) hospital in-patients pay a daily charge of 16 Euros.

For major treatment there’s a flat-rate contribution of 18 Euros, plus either the daily hospital charge or the 20% co-payment for medical fees. 

If you’re in a serious ski accident on the French slopes, intensive care can be expensive without an EU card or travel insurance.  The EHIC won’t pay for repatriation.

Ambulance:  You have to pay for an ambulance, non-refundable in France. A doctor must confirm you need one.

Or you can use a light medical vehicle (vehicule sanitaire leger - VSL) to get to hospital. Air ambulances availability varies.

Prescriptions

Only use pharmacies in the public health system. Each prescription comes with a treatment form (feuille de soins) - you need it to claim a refund.

Prescribed medicines are only reimbursable if listed as reimbursable pharmaceutical products.  Refund rates vary from 15% - 100% of the sale price.

The EHIC card isn’t the same as having comprehensive travel insurance.  See What Can Go Wrong if in doubt about whether you need travel insurance for France.

EHIC FAQ

NHS Choices France Guide

Foreign Office Travel Advice