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What changes in France in April 2019

As always, the start of a new month brings small changes that can affect everyday life in France. April sees benefits and healthcare changes - as well as new rules on car parts coming into force

The maximum income limit for Couverture maladie universelle complémentaire (CMU-C) is now €8,951 per year for a single person who is resident in France. In addition, the renewal of the CMU-C becomes automatic for RSA recipients, in order to simplify and improve access to healthcare. About 670,000 households are affected by this measure, according to national healthcare reimbursement body Assurance Maladie.

The price of some dental prostheses is capped from this month, as part of the government's health reforms. The maximum cost of a a zirconia crown on a "visible" tooth (incisor, canine or premolar) is set at €480. In addition, a ceramic-metallic bridge on an incisor will cost a maximum of €1,465. Other price limitations will complete this list in early 2020 and again in early 2021.

Some wigs for cancer patients will be better or even fully refunded. From now on, the so-called class 1 hair prostheses (those made of synthetic fibres) will have their prices capped at €350 and will be reimbursed for the same amount. Class 2 prostheses (at least 30% natural hair) will be capped at €700, and reimbursed up to €250.

From today, garages must clearly inform customers that they have the option to order second-hand parts to replace defective ones on their vehicles with second-hand parts, at a saving of between 30% and 50%.

Disability and death benefits
A part of the social and family benefits rise by 0.3%. These include the amount of death benefit, disability pensions, an increase for permanent carers, pensions and benefits paid in respect of accidents at work and occupational diseases. The Supplementary Invalidity Allowance (SIA), increases by 1.6% in April, while the flat-rate amount of the RSA increases to €559.74 per month for a single person. 

The trêve hivernale

As of Monday, eviction proceedings for unpaid rent can resume, as can power and gas cuts, as the annual 'winter truce' is now over. According to the Abbé Pierre Foundation, 15,550 people were evicted with the assistance of the police in 2017. The national energy ombudsman estimates that power cuts for unpaid bills increased by 4.2% in France in 2018 compared to 2017. This represents 572,440 power outages or limitations in one year.

Application deadline for university students
The Parcoursup deadline for students in their terminale year to finalise their university applications for courses starting this September is April 3.

Gas prices
Regulated gas tariffs will fall in April, the Commission de régulation de l’énergie has said. Those who use gas for cooking will see a fall of 0.7%; while prices will fall 1.3% for those who use it for cooking and hot water. People who have gas central heating will see prices fall 2.2% in April. At the government's request, Engie has put in place a mechanism to guarantee regulated natural gas tariffs will not rise until the end of June 2019.

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