The French system works in an interesting way. Every one is covered by Social Security. How much you pay is determined by your income and is re-evaluated on an annual basis. There is a base figure and if you make more than that, you pay premiums of 8% on your income above that base figure. If you make below the base figure, you pay nothing.
Social security pays 70% of the cost of most medical stuff, unless you have a chronic condition, and in that case everything to do with that condition is paid for 100%. For the difference in what SS covers and what you are charged, most people get a supplemental policy. You can choose various options for that covering more dental and eye care, and a higher level of coverage for specialists who charge a bit more, etc.
If your income is REALLY low, you get supplemental coverage free of charge as part of your SS. For the last 3 years JM and I have had that coverage, even though we never really felt we deserved it. It’s really meant for those who are really poor, and although we don’t make much money, I don’t really think we count as poor. After all, we own our own home and we have savings. But SS wasn’t really set up to take that kind of thing into account.
This year they changed the way the determine who is qualified for free supplemental coverage so that things like property, savings accounts, etc., ARE taken into consideration, so we no longer qualify. Again, we don’t really mind, but it did mean that we needed to do something quickly, because the supplemental coverage we have runs out next Tuesday.
So, we went to the company we had previously used. We had kept an extra small policy with them to pay for private rooms in case of hospitalization, so we’re already considered clients. Basically, we went in, decided which level of coverage we wanted and that was it. No medical questionnaire, no worries about them taking us because of past history, etc. Premiums are totally based on our age and that’s it. Our coverage automatically starts on Tuesday.
We took the policy that pays for the most dental coverage, etc. For the two of us it’s around 1600 euros a year. We were paying around 1100 dollars a month for less coverage than that when we left L.A.
All-in-all, I think it’s a pretty good deal!
Ciao for now.