Reader question: How does payment for cataract surgery work and is it important that the surgeon is conventionné?
It is usually an outpatient procedure, under local anaesthetic, meaning you can go home the same day if you have somebody to accompany you.
If you are in the French health system, the cost will be covered if it is prescribed by your GP or an ophthalmologist. They can advise about where to have it done.
Sécurité sociale will refund 100% of the basic state rate for this surgery, which is €271.70 per eye. State hospitals and some private clinics will not charge more.
Almost all doctors are conventionné (have signed an agreement with social security) but those classed as conventionné secteur 2 are able to charge extra on top of the basic rate, called dépassements d’honoraires.
Around 60% of clinics charged dépassements, a study by the Agence technique de l’information sur l’hospitalisation found.
Many top-up insurance plans will cover the difference, but you should check if your policy is sufficient to cover all the cost. The cover will be expressed as a percentage of the basic rate.
The state should also cover the €125 cost of anaesthetic and implant, bringing the total state-reimbursed cost to €397 per eye.
This includes a standard monofocal lens – you will probably still need glasses for near and intermediate vision. A multifocal lens will cost more, but all or part of this might be covered by your mutuelle.