What is new for April 1?

Fuel costs are going up

Today there are various changes - such as dearer fuel, new health reimbursement rules and a bonus for electric cars

AS USUAL various allowances and levels have changed as of today – April 1 - some of them good news, some less so.

Here are the main ones that may affect you:

• Diesel and petrol will cost an extra 2.4 and 2 centimes a litre respectively, due to an increase in tax.

• There are new limits on maximum reimbursements of healthcare costs via top-up mutuelle policies when you use a “sector 2” doctor who charges above the ordinary state rates.

These limits do not affect consultations with a minority of doctors who have so far signed up to a scheme called contrat d’accès aux soins which was aimed at limiting the level of dépassements (the part of the fee above the state rate). For the others, reimbursements for their services will now be limited to 125% of the basic state rate.

New limits are also in place on reimbursement of spectacles by mutuelles – a pair with simple lenses should not be reimbursed at more than €470, and no more than €150 should be reimbursed for a frame.

On the plus side, the whole of the forfait hospitalier – a daily €18 fee for staying in hospital – should now be reimbursed by mutuelles, which was not always the case before.

• A new “superbonus” comes in for people who trade in an old diesel car for a new electric one. Up to €3,700 is available off the car, which added to the existing green bonus of €6,300 for an electric car (or €4,000 for a hybrid one), makes a total €10,000.

You need to scrap a diesel registered on January 1, 2001 or before to benefit. A specific €500 grant is also introduced for families which are below the income tax threshold who buy an ordinary new or second hand car below certain CO2 emission thresholds or a hybrid or electric one.

• The complément familial - money allocated to large families on low incomes – has risen by €18.50 a month, to €203.50.

• Registered unemployed people will now be offered the choice of a higher level of unemployment benefit but a shorter claim period, or vice versa.

Photo: Richard Villalon - Fotolia.com

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