Top-up health insurance firms confirm big price rises in France

Contracts for individuals could rise by as much as 7%, and almost 10% for groups, a new report has found

Stethoscope with an arrow model on top to show healthcare price rises
Some policy costs may rise by as much as 9.9% for groups, the industry has warned
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Some top-up health insurance premiums (mutuelles) could rise by almost 10% in 2024, industry representatives have confirmed, in an increase dubbed “unacceptable” by the health minister.

Insurance company federation la Mutualité française said that contracts for individuals will rise by an average of 7.3%, and those for collectives will increase by an average of 9.9%. This equates to an average of 8.1%.

Top-up insurance helps to cover any extra costs incurred for healthcare that is not covered, or only partly covered, by the French social security system.

La Mutualité française said that half of individual clients will see a rise of 5-7%, with the other half likely to see slightly more, up to about 6.9%. This is an “unparalleled” rise compared to the last few years, the group said, in its report on 38 insurance companies, covering 18.7 million people in total.

Mutuelles are the largest type of top-up health insurers (accounting for 46% of benefits paid), ahead of insurance firms (nearly 35% of the market), and welfare building societies (just under 20%).

Read more: 7 points to consider when choosing top-up health insurance in France

‘Unacceptable’ rises due to ‘dynamic expenditure’

But Health Minister Aurélien Rousseau has condemned the planned rises as “unacceptable”, and said that companies need to “explain” increases above 5-7%, and in some cases up to 12%.

Read more: Top-up health insurance increasingly expensive for over-60s in France
Read more: MAP: what to expect to pay in top-up health insurance across France

Eric Chenut, the president of la Mutualité française, told BFMTV that the rise was more than the industry was expecting. He said: “Healthcare expenditure was extremely dynamic in 2023 [and] the increase was 6%, whereas we were expecting more like 3% or 4%.”

The increase is partly due to higher salaries for healthcare workers, higher demand for healthcare, and the drop in reimbursement of dental care by the Assurance maladie (from 70% to 60%).

Read more: French state to reduce the amount it contributes to your dental bills

Mr Chenut said that one solution to continually sharp price increases could be to create more flexible contracts, which allow people to choose a wider variety of types of cover, to “allow people to cover themselves at the level they need” and avoid the “very high costs” that come with typical contracts.

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