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What’s new in France in 2020: Health

What will change in 2020, health-wise

  • People will be able to cancel and change a top-up mutuelle whenever they like, as opposed to only during an annual window, as now. This will apply only after you have held a policy for one year and will come in at the latest from December.
  • Residents who were in the French health system as an ayant droit (dependant) of a working spouse or a French pensioner should by now have been registered as full individual members of the French system under Puma by virtue of residency. The only group liable to continue now as ayants droit would be spouses/partners of European citizens living in France with a European S1 form (the right to this is expected to continue for Britons living in France before the end of the Brexit transition period). Despite this, spouses of workers – as long as workers earn over a certain low minimum – should still have no Puma cotisation to pay. 
  • Virtual prescriptions are planned to begin this year, although some commentators are sceptical about how quickly doctors will take them up. Doctors will write the prescription on their computer and print, generating a smartcode that pharmacists may then scan to register the prescription at their end. The details will also be logged in the person’s Dossier Médical Partagé online (see here) if they have one.
  • A range of glasses and dental prostheses, such as certain crowns and bridges, will be free for patients. Top-up insurance providers will be obliged to pay the difference between state reimbursement and the actual cost of the items. This reste à charge zéro plan will not cover all products but there will be a wide range. The amount people pay towards a hearing aid will be capped at €400 this year, unless you choose a model outside the  guarantee.
  • Medical cannabis will be made available to some patients deemed to be in a “treatment impasse” in a two-year trial of the drug.
  • Pharmaceutical labs are now legally obliged, on pain of heavy fines, to keep sufficient stocks of medicines to allow for uninterrupted deliveries for two to four months in the event of new supplies running out.
  • Homeopathic remedies will be reimbursed at 15%, not 30% as now.
  • Parents will no longer have to supply a medical certificate to allow their child to participate in sports. It is thought usual childhood check-ups will be enough to identify any issues. Instead, parents will be asked to submit a questionnaire attesting to the child’s suitability to take part. Medical examinations will be required only if answers to this flag up an issue.

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