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Will she be billed ?


Keithchesterfield

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About six weeks ago while we were on holiday my wife was advised by a French Doctor that she needed a Hospital assessment for an illness and she was advised to go to the A&E (Les Urgences) in Montmorillon Centre Hospitalier near Poitiers.

She reported to Reception and they took details and noted the information on her EHIC.

She spent six hours in the Hospital – blood tests, X-rays, etc and she was monitored throughout her stay.

Eventually after giving her anti-biotic she was released at around 10 pm that evening with a prescription to be presented to a Pharmacie the next day.

At no point were we asked for money or Credit Card at the Hospital.

Both of us are over 70 and I was informed recently that anyone over 70 would not be billed for her visit and treatment.

Is that information correct ?

Any help appreciated.
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I had a similar experience. I was asked for French carte vitale which as a non resident I don't possess. Then carte European request and that was fine. I had a CT scan, stayed overnight and asked next day about making payments. I was informed that they'd contact my insurance. I paid the pharmacy for the medication prescribed. Some time later I received a bill from the hospital which I paid. I claimed most of this back from Newcastle on the EHIC insurance also claimed the cost of medication. I was not over 70 . Keep every bill and piece of paper issued.

Phone DWP ( or is it DPW ?)
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In our experience one is not billed for emergency hospital treatment, regardless of age, in either France or Spain if an EHIC has been presented.

Pharmacy costs can be reclaimed in the UK - eventually, if the amount is important to you[:D]

This will probably all change after Brexit, of course.

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I recently had to attend the emergency department of a local French hospital for treatment for a dog bite. I was given the bill before I left and pointed towards the cashier's desk. I had presented my EHIC card.
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Not to my knowledge Wooly, as many years ago while we were in France my wife was unlucky enough to develop peritonitis, This same hospital treated her superbly and we only got billed for meals and a supplement for the room. Although you might be right, I suppose it depends on the staff.
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Presumably, NickP, you were able to reclaim from Newcastle on your return? Hope so.

ETA, OP: I'm fairly confident it's not age related.

On a slightly but not entirely unrelated note, it's surprising what you do get billed for. A friend (French resident, so insured, etc.) had to undergo some pretty unpleasant and invasive tests for possible cancer. After the tests, he was asked if he'd like a drink of water which he gratefully accepted. Some weeks later he received a bill for €1.50 for the bottle of water. Which probably cost more to send out in admin costs than the water cost in the first place.?
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YccmB wrote :

A friend (French resident, so insured, etc.) had to undergo some pretty unpleasant and invasive tests for possible cancer. After the tests, he was asked if he'd like a drink of water which he gratefully accepted. Some weeks later he received a bill for €1.50 for the bottle of water.

Clinics (private) seem to be more likely to charge for additional items than public Hospitals .. so was this in a Clinic ?
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To me, this whole thread is proof positive of the ‘hit & miss’ of the whole EHIC business.

I should say straightoff that I would never want to put anybody off having one with them when coming to France from the UK on holiday. However, the experience of visitors to us has been patchy to say the least and sadly, I think that many believe it to be the equivalent of a comprehensive travel insurance policy. It isn’t.

In our area, GP’s and district nurses aren't interested in EHIC’s. You pay and reclaim afterwards. The local hospital will take a copy of your card in A & E and that will normally be that for minor treatment. If you needed to be admitted, I’m far from sure that you’d get very far without provision of how you intended to pay. Our son received a bill for €16 three months after he got back to the UK (stitches on a nasty gash) and there was no indication of what it was for, nor (typically for our dozy local hospital) any suggestion as to how a non-resident should settle the bill. I went in and paid it.

As for reclaiming afterwards? I believe that I’m right in saying that the DWP website tells you to send the invoices to the local CPAM. Well, down here at least, they haven’tgot a clue what to do with any such request for reimbursement. Nimes send the paperwork to a mystery department in Montpellier and they (eventually) write to the UK claimant to tell them that they are unable to make international payments. Its not worth the bother really.

As to the OP’s original question, I’d say that he probably won’t get a bill, but never be surprised. Doubt if it’ll be for much though.

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Thanks for your replies.

We went through this procedure a few years back when SWMBO tripped over a kerb stone and damaged a finger (no, as you've asked - she wasn't drunk – that was later !)

We showed the EHIC at the Hospital, had treatment, were sent a bill, paid the bill and reclaimed the money from the NHS – but at that time she was well below 70 years old.

Six weeks on we haven't received a bill and on the first occasion the bill arrived very quickly.

The Pharmacy charge was minimal and not worth pursuing but six hours of treatment should be quite a substantial sum.

If I do hear anything I'll update this post but in the meantime thanks for your input.

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I agree with Guardian's comments although I've never claimed via CPAM.

For any French GP appointments and prescriptions I have always paid on the day. They don't want to know about EHIC but hospitals do.

I claim these expenses when I am back in UK . I ring Newcastle, they give me a code number then they send me forms to be completed. They need the original bills etc to be sent with the forms. Quite a few months later (can be 5 or 6) the money claimed is transferred to my bank account.

I did the same thing after an overnight stay in a state hospital ( not a private clinic)

The bill was sent from the French hospital to my UK address. Everything on the bill for the hospital stay was itemised in great detail .

OP don't be surprised if you do receive a bill it may take a couple of months to arrive. As yccmb said , age doesn't come into this.

What will happen post Brexit? Who knows?

EHIC as Gardian says, is not full travel insurance. Currently it should cover you for emergency medical treatment but will not cover you for repatriation following injury or serious illness should this be necessary.
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Sue..in answer to your question, I don't know...but you're right, probably a clinic. Still, he only ended up there after a sorry tale of "You've got inoperable cancer, get your affairs in order, oh, wait a minute, no you haven't. Oh, but hang on, you might have. Oh no, sorry, false alarm." The bottle of water bill was almost the last straw by then, as I'm sure you can imagine.

Also oddly, I went to the doc with a friend to translate a year or so back. After the consultation, she went to the receptionist, EHIC and wallet in hand....and the receptionist basically said "put your money away, it's frankly not worth the hassle to us"

So, I'm guessing the frequently-used postcode lottery adage applies to most aspects..
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I had a minor operation at a local hospital a few years ago. It was over a year before they settled the bill with CPAM/sent me a copy - they probably only discovered the lack of action after the annual audit.

So don't be surprised if something does turn up some time in the future...
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Betty said : Still, he only ended up there after a sorry tale of "You've got inoperable cancer, get your affairs in order, oh, wait a minute, no you haven't. Oh, but hang on, you might have. Oh no, sorry, false alarm." The bottle of water bill was almost the last straw by then, as I'm sure you can imagine.

Poor man, how awful for him. Definitely the French equivalent of a uk postcode lottery .. you pays your money and takes your choice.
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Two observations:
1) I don't know where the idea of things being different over 70 years old comes from
Red herrings are quick to propagate on Anglo sites about France and as usual I suggest looking at only French and only official websites for information such as

2) Sue is probably right about it being a clinic and the reason for different experiences may well  be down to the difference between 'cliniques' and public hospitals which tends not to be very clear to those who have only occasional visits.
Althoufg both are paid for out of public funds 'cliniques' are private and exist to make money for the owners so tend to be much more tightly controlled financially, and are also very good a providing of 'actes' which are probably not entirely essential   medically but which can be charged to the state and which give the impression of  being thorough..

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NormanH wrote: Althoufg both are paid for out of public funds 'cliniques' are private and exist to make money for the owners so tend to be much more tightly controlled financially, *** and are also very good a providing of 'actes' which are probably not entirely essential medically but which can be charged to the state and which give the impression of being thorough.***

The parts of your post that I have 'starred' (can't do fancy things on here, like underlining, due to using Chrome) I so agree with.

Friends use the Clinic (recently mysteriously renamed Clinique Elsan replacing the previous more apt Clinique Oceane) as they believe they are getting better care .. mostly due to the number of acts they undergo I think.

OH's cardiologue works out of the public hospital and the care OH has received there has been superb over the years so you pay your money and make your choice.

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The Elsan logo has recently appeared on the stationery of Clinique Montréal in Carcassonne.

Although the name is associated with chemical toilets for Brits, it is the largest hospital group in France which has been taking over private hospitals and clinics since 2015.

I agree with NormanH that they tend to overcharge, and also point out that many of their procedure dépasse the tarifs de convention.

However, we sometimes go there for procedures that are not available, or which have a long waiting list, at the General Hospital.

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nomoss wrote : However, we sometimes go there for procedures are not available, or which have a long waiting list, at the General Hospital.

Tis excellent that there is a choice .. albeit a potentially more expensive choice .. if the need arises.

Thank you for explaining about the name change to 'Elsan' .. because I am English the sign does make me smile every time OH and I drive past.

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