Reader question: Is there a time limit to apply for a health reimbursement via the feuille de soins system? K.S.
If you are in the French health system, in most cases you will be reimbursed directly by handing over your carte Vitale.
However, the old feuilles de soins (brown doctor’s form) system still exists in parallel.
This involves paying upfront for care and then receiving a form from the doctor or pharmacist to obtain a refund from your medical caisse. The form details the nature of the act, medicines or consultation and what you were billed.
You can then either post the forms to your Cpam health authority (or other caisse if you work in certain sectors) or drop them into its offices in person.
Situations where feuilles de soins may still be used include where someone forgets their carte Vitale or does not have it with them in an emergency, where the card reader malfunctions, or occasionally where a health professional is still not set up for the télétransmission system for direct reimbursement via the carte Vitale (this is more common in certain sectors, such as some hearing, dental and eye professionals).
Feuilles de soins are also given by medical professionals to tourists using the Ehic/ Ghic system, who need to apply for reimbursement afterwards, and frontier workers, for example in Monaco, which does not issue cartes Vitale.
By law, according to the Code de la sécurité sociale, people have two years in which to apply for reimbursement using a feuille de soins.
For treatment for illnesses, this runs from the date of issue to the end of the same year quarter in two years’ time.
For maternity care, the two years run from the point at which the pregnancy was medically confirmed.
For top-up mutuelles, the rules will be in the terms and conditions of the contract.
Usually it is possible to claim up to two years after you are refunded by the Assurance maladie, or from the date of the healthcare if it is (unusually) something that is covered by your mutuelle but not the Assurance maladie. If you changed mutuelles in the meantime, send the refund request to the previous one.
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