UK European Health Insurance Card Cover in France

Written by on April 5, 2013 in Healthcare For Visitors
EHIC CardEHIC, the European Health Insurance Card enables essential health care for European holidaymakers in another EU state.

For a UK holiday maker in France this will cover emergency or essential treatment only that is needed to allow you to continue your stay until your planned return.

If you need to make an appointment with a doctor or dentist make sure that they are registered with the state healthcare provider in France called “conventionné”.

‘Conventionné’ practitioners can fall into either of the following two categories:

Secteur 1: practitioners who charge the official social security rate

Secteur 2: practitioners who charge an extra fee on top of the official rate

Using your UK EHIC Card to see a Doctor in France

You will need to pay the doctor directly and will receive a treatment form (feuille de soins) and a prescription if necessary. The treatment form is necessary to claim any refunds. You can claim back around 70% of the standard treatment cost which is generally around €23 for a Secteur 1 Doctor but may be more for a specialist (Secteur 2). You may want to check with the EHIC UK team about what you are entitled to reclaim – the telephone number is on the back of your card.

See here for how to find a doctor in France.

Prescriptions and medicines

The pharmacist should provide you with a prescription receipt called a feuille de soins – you cannot claim a refund without it, so ask if it is not forthcoming.

Prescribed medicines are only within scope for reclaims if they are listed as reimbursable pharmaceutical products. Reimbursement rates vary between 15% and 100 % of the sale price. You will need to check with the EHIC team in the UK for details of what costs you can reclaim.

Using your UK EHIC Card to see a Dentist in France

You must pay the dentist direct who will then fill out a treatment form (feuille de soins) and a prescription if necessary. The form is necessary to claim any refunds that you may be entitled to. You may be able to claim a percentage of some costs – it is best to check with the NHS EHIC team first though if you are concerned – don’t forget, only emergency treatment is likely to be covered. The phone number for contact is on the back of your EHIC card.

Hospital treatment using your UK EHIC Card

If you are admitted to hospital, make sure you present your EHIC or your ‘carte vitale’ on admission. This will save you from paying any refundable costs up front and ensure you only pay the patient contribution.

The UK NHS advises: Generally, you will only have to pay a 20% co-payment towards your treatment, sometimes it will be free. Inpatients will have to pay a daily hospital charge of €16. If you are admitted to hospital and receive any major medical treatment, you will be charged a flat-rate contribution of €18 in addition to the daily hospital charge or the 20% co-payment.

If you are admitted to a private hospital or clinic, try to ensure that it is registered to provide state healthcare.

See here for how to find a hospital in France

Ambulance service using your UK EHIC Card

In France, a doctor has to confirm that you are really in need of an ambulance service. In an emergency call 112 – the European Emergency telephone number. 112 Emergency centres can use an interpretation service covering several languages.

Ambulance charges may be due if you are being admitted or discharged from hospital.

How to claim using your UK EHIC Card

Note that no costs are refundable in France – you must claim in the UK for reimbursement. The EHIC website has lots of helpful information about how to do this and advise that you should try to apply for your refund before you return home. They emphasise that you must keep all receipts and any paperwork (make copies if necessary).

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