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Dentistry, glasses: How to benefit from France’s 100% Santé scheme

Many treatments and medical equipment are free for people with top-up health insurance, including hearing aids

A range of dental prostheses, hearing aids and glasses are free in France for people with top-up health insurance Pic: Pixavril / santypan / Production Perig / Andrey_Popov / Shutterstock

The 100% Santé scheme allows people in the French healthcare system with top-up insurance to receive for free a limited range of dental prostheses (implants, crowns, bridges, dentures, etc.), hearing aids and prescription glasses. 

The initiative was put in place to give greater access to these treatments and equipment for people who had previously been put off by the costs. 

Ten million people have benefitted from the scheme since it was launched in 2019. 

Read more: 10 million in France benefit from free glasses and dental work scheme

Read more: French hearing aid sales up 85% as all basic models now free

Who can benefit from 100% Santé?

Anyone who is in the French healthcare system and has a certain type of top-up insurance policy (also commonly known as mutuelles).

Read more: French 'top-up' health insurance explained

The insurance must be considered a “responsible complimentary policy” (un contrat responsable) or a Complémentaire santé solidaire (C2S). Around 95% of policies on the market fall into one of these categories – you should check with your insurer to know if your one does. 

Read more about it on France’s insurance service website Ameli here

How do I get free work or equipment through 100% Santé?

The professionals who are involved in the scheme, such as opticians, dentists and hearing specialists, are obliged to offer patients a choice of treatments or equipment that is covered by 100% Santé. 

To benefit, just ask the relevant professional when you seek care or ask your top-up insurance provider. 

You may initially have to pay a fee but this will be 100% reimbursed by your insurer. 

The scheme is jointly financed by the government, insurance companies and the relevant professionals. 

What products are offered under 100% Santé?

Glasses:

In the range available at no cost, lenses should cover all general sight problems and be slim, anti-glare and anti-scratch.

There must be 17 adult frames on offer, with a choice of two colours for each, and 10 different frames for children, also with a choice of two colours. Frames, which must respect European standards, will cost a maximum €30.

The price of glasses (including frames and lenses) offered under 100% Santé is capped.

Glasses for a patient who does not need strong corrective lenses:

  • Maximum cost of €95 for unifocal lenses

  • Maximum cost of €180 for varifocal lenses

Glasses for a patient who needs strong corrective lenses:

  • Maximum cost of €265 for unifocal lenses

  • Maximum cost of €370 for varifocal lenses

This cost for all of the above will be completely covered under 100% Santé and so the patient will not have to pay anything. 

If you want to buy glasses that are not included in the 100% Santé range, the normal reimbursement rates provided by your insurance will apply. 

Dental prostheses:

Total cover under the 100% Santé scheme will be available for crowns, bridges and inlays, while ceramic crowns, rather than metal ones, will be on offer for visible front teeth.

Treatment from the orthodontist is not covered under the scheme, so braces that many teenagers are advised to wear will not be included.

Patients can choose other prostheses not covered by the 100% Santé scheme. If they do, there are two different ranges. One range in which the prices are controlled so as not to be too excessive.

The other option allows the patient to choose from whichever prostheses they wish, at their own cost. 

Hearing aids:

There should be a wide selection of hearing aids available (in-the-ear, behind-the-ear) with a minimum of 12 channels of adjustment or equivalent quality and numerous features (anti-tinnitus, wind noise reducer, feedback suppressor, Bluetooth,etc.)

How much money can you save through 100% Santé?

France’s Health Ministry has worked out the following estimates, based on the average cost of the different treatments and equipment from before the 100% Santé scheme was launched compared to the costs if you use the scheme. 

Glasses:

Before 100% Santé:
Average cost for a pair of glasses: €540

Average amount reimbursed by insurance (including mutuelle): €420

Price left to pay: €120

Using 100% Santé:

Average cost for pair of glasses covered by scheme: €210

Amount reimbursed: €210

Price left to pay: €0

Dental prostheses:

Before 100% Santé:

Average cost of a ceramic dental crown: €550

Average cost reimbursed by insurance (including mutuelle): €355

Price left to pay: €195

Using 100% Santé:

Average cost of ceramic dental crown covered by scheme: €500

Amount reimbursed: €500

Price left to pay: €0

Hearing aids:

Before 100% Santé:

Average cost for a right-ear hearing aid: €1,500

Average cost reimbursed by insurance (including mutuelle): €650

Price left to pay: €850

Using 100% Santé:

Average cost of right-ear hearing aid covered by scheme: €950

Amount reimbursed: €950

Price left to pay: €0

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