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How do I claim in this situation?!!


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I arrived in France permanently on a Thursday with a swollen leg (came up in the car).  I went to the doctor who gave me antibiotics to which I was allergic, reacting with very severe stomach pain.  I was rushed to hospital on the Saturday where I stayed for 12 days.  During their investigations they discovered I have bowel cancer (early stages) which is obviously going to require ongoing treatment.  I did not have time to register with my E106 before I was ill, but while I was in hospital my husband registered me and applied for my carte vitale, which I haven't received yet. 

Because I didn't have a carte vitale, when I was admitted to hospital I had to use the EHIC.  Does anyone know how I go about claiming back what is going to be a very large bill?!  Do I claim on my EHIC even though I am now resident in France, or do I wait for my carte vitale and claim against that?

Many thanks


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The EHIC gives access to French state-provided medical treatment on the same basis as any French 'insured' person - in other words, it provides the same level of cover as your new carte vitale would.  You presented your EHIC before you were registered under your E106, so it will be valid.

As you were treated as an in-patient in an approved hospital and you showed your EHIC, the CPAM will pay 75% or more of the cost direct to the hospital. The hospital will bill you for the balance plus the fixed daily hospital charge ('forfait journalier'). The balance and the forfait journalier are non-refundable by CPAM.

Whilst your ongoing bowel cancer treatment will probably qualify for 100% re-imbursement (your doctor will sort this out for you), you'll still have costs associated with any non-related conditions so I suggest you immediately take out a "complimentaire" insurance to cover any future non-refundable expenses.  If you're quick enough, you might even get this hospital bill balance/forfait journalier covered.  [;-)]



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