Tens of thousands of people covered by French social security are currently struggling to access healthcare reimbursements because of huge delays in the system.
One cancer patient, who needs regular treatments, has said that she never knows whether her reimbursements will come through at the end of the month, and that she has twice been left waiting three months for her money.
“In addition to suffering from the illness, I have to suffer this,” she told BFMTV. “The rent can’t be paid, the shopping can’t be done, we can’t go out anymore because we can’t pay for transport. We can’t do anything, we have nothing.”
A member of staff at Ile-de-France’s Assurance maladie department – which appears to be the most severely affected by the delays – said that in that region alone, tens of thousands of people have been impacted.
She said: “They tell us that Assurance maladie is working on these issues, but there is no noticeable improvement. Things really need to get moving. When we speak to people, they are distressed, some are at the end of their tether. They tell us that they are going to commit suicide.
“We don’t know what to do anymore.”
Assurance maladie has said that it is aware of the problems and the inconvenience they can cause to patients, but blamed the delays on the Covid crisis.
It said that it has been processing 160,000 arrêts de travail sick notes per day as a result of the pandemic.
If you are affected by a delayed payment, you should contact your department’s Caisse primaire d’assurance maladie (CPAM), either through your Ameli account or on the phone, by calling 36 46.
You can also visit your local CPAM branch if practical.
France’s Caisse d’allocations familiales (CAF) has also made reference to serious delays in the processing of payments.
Have you been affected by delays in receiving reimbursement for your healthcare costs? Tell us about your experience at firstname.lastname@example.org