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CPAM and top-up insurance


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My wife and I sold up in England last year and are now living very happily near Limoux in the Aude region. Have successfully achieved carte sejour and acceptance into the securitie sociale, but would appreciate advice on 2 matters (apart, that is, from income tax and aquiring French number plates!!!)
1. On the CPAM attestation is a phrase "Hospitalisation et soins externes hors budget global" - what on earth is this in plain English?
2.As we are 68/67 respectively top-up insurance is very necessary. According to David Hampshire's excellent book on living and working in France mutuelles (non profit-making) are much preferred to private insurance companies. Is this true, and is a mutuelle quote of 120 euros per month for average cover for the 2 of us reasonable? We have friends also very interested in this topic. Must be lots like us out there who can offer advice which will be gratefully received.
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>1. On the CPAM attestation is
>a phrase "Hospitalisation et soins
>externes hors budget global" -
>what on earth is this
>in plain English?

Ask the CPAM about this typical French bureaucratic gobbledygook. It doesn't mean anything in plain French, let alone in translation.

>2.As we are 68/67 respectively top-up
>insurance is very necessary.

Are you sure? If you get a very serious illness then most costs will be absorbed by the CPAM at 100%.
If you don't have young children, aren't pregnant, don't need new glasses every year, don't need new teeth every year and don't expect to be given a bag full of expensive medicine every time you clear your throat (the French do: they consume more medicine per head than any other country in the world) then any sort of extra insurance is probably a waste of money.
Your payments also go to fund rest cures in Spas. I really can't see the point of paying for this, unless you intend taking advantage of it yourself.

>to David Hampshire's excellent book
>on living and working in
>France mutuelles (non profit-making) are
>much preferred to private insurance

All insurance charges vary wildly in France. It is common to find quotes that can be triple another quote for the same cover.
Whatever you do ask at least 5 or 10 different companies. Mutuelles are often preferred but they also often tend to spend a lot of the money that would be profit in a private company on flamboyant shop-fronts and silly magazines. They also provide cheap loans to members for car purchase. I would rather just have a cheaper premium.
As in the UK, the best value is usually to be had from insurers with no branch network (on-line and phone insurers).

>is a mutuelle quote of
>120 euros per month for
>average cover for the 2
>of us reasonable?

In order to get any value out of this you will need to have monthly bills that exceed 240 for medicine or 360 for doctors or some combination thereof.
How likely is this?
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  • 2 weeks later...
Just my example, hope it helps, The mutuelle complentaire(top up insurance) does come in very handy especially for doctors visits and in the case of xrays or outpatients visits. I'm a young'un but when i broke my foot recently it involved a lot of silly little visits to hospital and pharmacy prescriptions, which with the normal 70% cover would have left me with at least 150 equiv.to pay. I have a complementaire with my bank, who are a good way to insure anything, I now pay 95f per month which covers the "normal" things. When I got the quote from the bank they produced upto 10 examples ranging from base cover to fully protected everything which were explained well and gave me a great choice. I did a bit of bargaining with them as well and managed to get car/house/health insurances all reduced as I used the bank for all 3. Good luck with all.

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