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Changing a mutuelle


Mrs Trellis

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Am I correct to think it is now possible to change insurance companies without waiting till the end of the year?

I am so fed up with mine. Previously they have been good but recently I emailed as I wasn't sure whether to pay some bills and claim them back, or send them to the insurance company. No reply (the first was early February and included scans of the bills)) plus two more. So I phoned and was told to pay and then send them the bills.

I did so, and wrote saying I was not happy with a company that ignores emails from clients (they have replied in the past). That was three weeks ago; so far no reply, no reimbursement.

Since then OH also went to Urgences with chest pain and we received bills amounting to about 200 euros. I haven't paid yet! Two weeks ago I sent the hospital copies of his Carte Vitale and insurance - which he showed them at the time. Guess what? No response.

Of course, I don't want to change companies before they have paid the outstanding bills but I really am not impressed with their service. Axa has a local office, at least I could go down and talk to them!

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Get quotes first. You might find that if you've gone up an age band or two since you took out your policies with your present mutuelle, you won't be able to match the premiums elsewhere now.

But yes, I believe it is easier to change insurers now under the new loi Hamon, AFAIK it applies to mutuelles.
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Shame! I'll have to wait until near the end of the year. I just hope we don't have any medical expenses in the three months after cancelling.

Our premium goes up every year anyway so it will be hard to compare. I looked at the website for our mutuelle and was tempted to apply for a quote just to see if it differed from what we are paying.
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"I just hope we don't have any medical expenses in the three months after cancelling"

There doesn't have to be a break in cover. If one you has conditions that could flare up at any time, you can choose a new mutuelle that allows you to claim from Day 2.
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No, not leaving France - we can't as OH is getting treatment not available in the UK (that is on 100% anyway). We are generally happy here, just the battle with bureaucracy gets me down.

I just meant that if we have such trouble getting reimbursement now, it will be even harder when the company knows we are not renewing.
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You are not the only ones, there are other mutualists who apparently are not paying out in a reasonable amount of time, so you may not be any better off elsewhere.

I hear all this fuss about the carte vitale on here, but I have just been talking to a friend in France and frankly, we decided that it was not so bad in the old days. With the carte vitale there is now the 'impression' that everthing is done so quickly and easily.

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  • 3 weeks later...
I've now found there was no response because the email address, phone number and postal address on the annual attestation was not the one to contact! I think the company we originally contacted is a broker. That still doesn't excuse the insurance company ignoring 3 emails and a letter.
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  • 1 month later...
Mrs T - I wonder if you have changed and who to? Hope you have managed to resolve something.

We have been happy with Axa but my OH has just received the renewal which has gone up 12%to €93 pm. He is nearly 75 but it still seems a lot - by the time he is 80, it will be €150!! We are going to go in and see them and don't want to be without a Mutuelle, even though he now has an ALD which will pay 100% for the malady itself.

I am looking for something which would cover him for other eventualities without a huge deficit. ( we accept we would have to pay some out) but a bit cheaper!

I believe he may not be able to find another one after the age of 75 so that is also a worry.

Would be interested to hear what others have done, in a similar situation.

Thank

Laurier

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hi,

No, I haven't got round to researching other companies. OH has been very ill and was hospitalised for a week. The insurance company immediately sent a confirmation that they would pay anything not included in the 100%. Must try and get my head round it!
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[quote user="Laurier"]Would be interested to hear what others have done, in a similar situation.[/quote]

OH and I changed from AGF (now Allianz), who were fine, to Groupama simply because we could get more cover for the same premium.

They have been excellent; out of hours we can email or ring them and there is always a reply. Failing that they have an agency 10 minutes away in the nearest small town, where practical advice is available from helpful staff within office hours.

They pay reimbursements within a few days and, so far, without a quibble.

OH has had a variety of health queries from eyesight problems, needing hearing aids, a stent for his heart, mouth abcess under a tooth as well as ongoing chronic bronchitis. So he uses the health service, and the mutuelle, quite a bit.

Sue

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I use Swisslife, which is not the cheapest, but has two big plusses for me.

1) They have a modular system so you can choose a different level of cover for different things rather than a 'one size fits all' policy (I chose top level hospital cover and a much lower level dentistry for example)

2) They have always paid all direct to the various hospitals and clinics without me needing to advance any thing. Even the admin people  in the various places I have been in say that they are good at paying up!

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Thanks NH. Interesting - when we suggested dropping dental and optical altogether and maybe some of the others, they wouldn't go with that. Said it was 'hospital only' or with all the other add-ons which I didn't think could be right. However, they have now dropped the fee by €14 per month for the same as we had before so for the moment OH is happy with that. However, I am going to look into it for when mine comes up for renewal so will investigate Swisslife, and a few others, etc.

I couldn't quite grasp exactly what hospital cover was. From what he said it seems to cover everything you would want in the way of X-rays, MRI's, etc. - not just being IN hospital. It was quite hard understanding what wasn't included, which we might need but I suppose that's where all the research comes in.

It's no good waiting until you get the renewal notice to try and look into it (!) so I am going to be a bit proactive before mine comes up.

Hope you have/are recovering well NH.

Laurier
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[quote user="Laurier"].

I couldn't quite grasp exactly what hospital cover was. From what he said it seems to cover everything you would want in the way of X-rays, MRI's, etc. - not just being IN hospital. It was quite hard understanding what wasn't included ...[/quote]

When we arrived in 2005 we really did not understand exactly what the various mutuelle options meant. So, to be safe, we took 200% cover although our AGF agent said that we did not need such a level of cover here in Brittany. We insisted and then used not-a-jot for 2 years, whilst paying out over the norm. We then opted for Hospital only cover - everything included except no mutuelle reimbursement of Dr appointments, X rays, outpatient appointments etc.

Then the problems started with OH's health so we were paying out a lot for all the things that were not covered, or only partially.

It was at this point that we looked again at what the various covers really included - my level of French comprehension having improved hugely by this time - and chose to change assurers as the cover at Groupama is, as Norman says with his Swiss Life policy, flexible. So, as we both wear specs we have increased cover for that element, as OH has dental problems so we have extra cover for that element for him.

The result is personalised cover for us both at a reasonable price with the added bonus of reliable back-up.

Though I am totally sure that there are other companies with just as flexible cover as Groupama, and at the right price. For us it was a question of which company had an agency within 10 minutes of our door as well as good back-up via phone and internet.

Sue

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[quote user="Laurier"]Thanks NH. Interesting - when we suggested dropping dental and optical altogether and maybe some of the others, they wouldn't go with that. Said it was 'hospital only' or with all the other add-ons which I didn't think could be right. However, they have now dropped the fee by €14 per month for the same as we had before so for the moment OH is happy with that. However, I am going to look into it for when mine comes up for renewal so will investigate Swisslife, and a few others, etc.

I couldn't quite grasp exactly what hospital cover was. From what he said it seems to cover everything you would want in the way of X-rays, MRI's, etc. - not just being IN hospital. It was quite hard understanding what wasn't included, which we might need but I suppose that's where all the research comes in.

It's no good waiting until you get the renewal notice to try and look into it (!) so I am going to be a bit proactive before mine comes up.

Hope you have/are recovering well NH.

Laurier[/quote]

You should be able to get a detailed list of what is covered and at what level.

The Swiss Life one is here, not that I am selling their policies but just an an example of what you can see:

http://www.swisslife-direct.fr/index.php/Mediatheque/Media/swisslife-sante-particulier-sld.pdf

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