about the french medical coverage

Oct 11th, 2009, 12:51 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 8,351
I find the wiki page nukesafe posted somewhat surprising - given that rich Dutch people (and not so rich too) go and live in Belgium because the taxes are lower.
http://www.worldwide-tax.com/ gives the rates of taxes per country.
All I know is that my husband pays 52% income tax plus social security payments and assorted other deductions - including taxes on savings and wealth. It used to be 60% income tax so things have improved slightly.
hetismij is offline  
Oct 11th, 2009, 01:19 PM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 580
In 2001 my son had horrible stomach pains that did not get better after 24 hours. I went to the front desk of our hotel in Paris and within 20 minutes we had a doctor at our door who examined him and said he had appendicitis. He was taken to the American hospital and ended up there for at least 5 nights-he had surgery and IV drip because of a continuing infection. My husband stayed behind in Paris with him and he still raves about the hospital care and doctors, the food and the nurses. We choose an option that we did pay for-we could have had it all done for free, but we decided to have him go to the American hospital(not really an American hospital just created by Americans after WW1) and we were charged a total of about $2000 for everything which our insurance paid.

My husband had the same illness two years later--he stayed one night in Stanford hospital and total charges were around $30,000. We waited 5 hours in the waiting room for him to even be seen by a doctor. What a difference from our Paris experience and having a doctor come to the hotel almost immediately.

Our insurance company at the time told me that they like it when people get sick in Europe because charges are so much less. It makes me laugh and get mad when politicans say "you don't want socialized European medicine". I say bring it on!
macdogmom is offline  
Oct 11th, 2009, 01:29 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,664
St Cirq (a frequent contributor here) lives in Washington DC but has a house in France that she visits a few times a year. She waits till she's in France to get all her yearly tests & examinations performed. She said that the doctors spend a lot more time with her in France than they do in the US.

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is online now  
Oct 11th, 2009, 01:56 PM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 45,322
Hello mac, a family member was in Paris when she was around 22 years old and had horrible stomach pains and it turned out to be appendicities also. She was taken to the American Hospital and was operated on and was in the hospital for about a week. To this day she mentions how wonderful the medical care was and how little it cost compared to what it would have cost here in the states. I can't remember what the actual cost was but she had insurance that reimbursed her too.

One time when we were in Italy my husband had a medical problem. An Italian friend called his doctor to came to where we were staying and prescribed some medication. He refused any payment. When we went to the pharmacy to fill the prescription the pharmacist refused to charge us! And when a crown of his fell out while we were in southern Italy the dentist in Naples who saw us around 7:00p.m. refused any payment also. Our family joke (but rather in a serious way actually) is if you are going to have a medical problem be in Europe and not at home.
LoveItaly is offline  
Oct 11th, 2009, 03:42 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 17,134
" the reason we can't afford French healthcare is that"...

...America can't organise a pissup in a brewery

Americans don't give a stuff about what they can or can't afford. They spend twice as much per head as the civilised world on a health "system" where people die sooner than Jordanians or Bosnians.

Any affluent country with a functioning political system can afford a health system more or less the same as France's, and most more or less do. The reason America's parody of a health system is the laughing stock of the world is that America's screwed-up political system makes it so.

America pisses away 10% of its GDP on making malpractice lawyers and insurance companies rich because that's what Americans want.

And it's what the political brainwashing Americans go through instead of an education system cons Americans into thinking is an acceptable way to run a country.
flanneruk is offline  
Oct 11th, 2009, 05:33 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 1,322
In addition to the personal income tax burden, you need to factor in what you or your employer pays for your health insurance. American wages are stagnant because of the rising cost of health care. People may be getting paid more, but it's in the form of increased health insurance premiums, not money in the pocket.
happytourist is offline  
Oct 12th, 2009, 08:25 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 20,479
America can't organise a pissup in a brewery

Medicare works more efficiently in terms of cost than the private insurance system. At least that is what Paul Krugman claims. The problem is that we are not willing to fund it to the needed level given the population that it serves.

I recall years ago, when England was thinking of revising its retirement system (under Thatcher?) that a commission came up with suggestions. At the top of the list to be emulated was the U.S. Social Security (retirement) system.
Michael is offline  
Oct 12th, 2009, 09:47 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 2,420
ok... I am going to give another view of "goverment medicine"

Took a group to Europe. Day 1 in London one of the older members falls and breaks her arm near the shoulder in two spots.

Yes, treatement in the ER was quick... from that point on.. RUN!!!! I had a nurse with me. When she asked what they were going to do she was told "it's too high to set without surgery" so it will have to heal on it's own. When nurse asked about loss of mobility, she was told "patient is 66 years old, that's expected we won't do pins on someone that old"

Luckily, she had purchased travel insurance and we got her flown home (after I got a locally owned American hosptial to help me get the release) and they did surgery. She has full range of motion!
CarolA is offline  
Oct 12th, 2009, 10:34 AM
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 286
don't know if you read my surgery in Cavaiilon under trip report AH Provence. I had horrible food poisoning/flu like symptoms from the Bouchon restaurant in Isle sur Sorgue.
passed out broke ankle in 3 places. very good surgeon. hospital wouldn't accept credit card or personal check. submitted bill to ins upon return. hey told me it was paid. year later I got another bill. many phone calls and emails later I am assured by ins that it is paid. ins would only send a check in dollars and of course the bill was in euros-much confusion. but after 2 years, i rust the hospital has been paid about 7000.00.
France? which travel ins do you use
frenchwow is offline  
Oct 12th, 2009, 01:28 PM
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 653

My wife fainted just as we were about to get off the train back to Paris from Chartres. She regained consciousness quickly, and we took a taxi to our rented apartment. When she still felt very ill the next day, I described her symptoms to a pharmacienne located near our apartment, and she advised us to see a medecin and consulted her list of neighborhood ones. I called, and he offered to come to see her that afternoon--but she decided we should walk the five blocks to his office and see him that morning.

The office was up a small, two-person elevator to an unimpressive waiting room (one patient already there). The medecin had no receptionist, no nurse, no other personnel--just him. We were seen within 10 minutes, an exam took place (he spoke decent English and had trained for a year in New York), and he said he thought it was an infection that could be treated with an antibiotic. He prescribed something to quiet her stomach as well. We obtained both (prepackaged) for little cost back at the pharmacie we had first visited.

We paid both le medecin and la phramacienne and got receipts in English--each said they charged us what the health system would pay for treating a French citizen (this was 10 years ago, before the EU was in full swing). When we returned to the US, our Blue Cross PPO paid for the office visit (minus the usual office visit co-pay) and for the meds.

My wife and I were both impressed by (1) the offer of a house visit (reminds me of my childhood, when GPs actually did that); he said he makes house calls almost every afternoon during stated hours when the office is closed, (2) the promptness of being seen, (3) the lack of expensive office and personnel, and the ease of billing/payment, which would apparently be even easier (non-existent?) for French citizens.

We love our internist in San Diego, and we have great health insurance and prescription coverage, but if I get a minor, easy-to-treat illness, I hope I am in Paris at the time.
d_claude_bear is offline  

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