Another nightmare

Still recovering from my traumatic night, I received a devastating blow: the clinic secretary said she had received a letter from my Mutuelle which appeared to say they would not be meeting the ‘hotel’ costs of my stay.


The French health system is complicated; the CMU (the state health insurance system) picks up the total medical costs of a hospital stay ( and all or part of other costs such as visits to the doctor or medication). The patient pays the costs of the room and meals. But most people subscribe to a top-up private insurance scheme – known as ‘la mutuelle’. You can expect your mutuel to meet at least part of the hotel costs, sometimes for a limited number of weeks each year.

This is what I had expected and the secretary and my physio were equally baffled. I phoned the Montpellier agent of my mutuelle, all set to do battle. The total cost of a single room plus meals for my ten plus week stay is likely to amount to something like 6000 euros!

It turns out that what the letter means is that the mutuel will not settle my bill direct: I must pay the clinic and the mutuel leg will reimburse me. Even better news, she confirmed that my contract is for 100% and for unlimited time periods. Phew!

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