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Any way of reclaiming insurance excess via EHIC?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@holidayloverxx, this one is a state issued form though.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Hells Bells, yes, i see the difference and the point. Educational, thank you
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@Hells Bells, Not sure as, thankfully, I haven't needed to darken their doors of late! Last time I was there the receptionists were dealing with many french people (I was in the waiting room a fair while) who were quite stroppy at being asked to get their credit card out! The pharmacist next door knows how to charge as well wink
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@Hells Bells, yes I think it is still a terminology problem here as there seem to be a lot of sector 1 doctors in La Plagne area (unless this is out of date).

http://annuairesante.ameli.fr/professionnels-de-sante/recherche-5/liste-resultats-page-1-par_page-20-tri-distance_asc-901d48bb9fc81c7df8c6e0884fc9cc0c.html

In France, Secteur 1 doctors cannot charge you over and beyond state set fees that are applicable to everyone. Just because they can't take your EHIC does not mean they are "private". The state reimburse you for 70% of the cost (in general, for appointments, MRIs, X-Rays etc. It's more like 80%+ for overnight hospital treatment, some things are 100%, and people with ongoing conditions such as cancer, diabetes, parkinsons, for example, are not charged for appointments etc.).

When I go to the doctor, I give them my Carte Vitale which they put in a card reader, they charge me the full price which I pay there and then, then the (most likely 70%) reimbursement is sent to my account thanks to the Carte Vitale. When someone without the Carte Vitale goes to the doctor, they get charged there and then in the same way but are given a "feuille de soins" to fill out and post to claim back the 70% via the NHS, or you send it to your travel insurer along with your insurers in-house claims form and they do that for you and reimburse you.

As I understand it, in more serious cases you can phone the insurer and get them to pay the money for you over the phone so you are not actually handing over cash. Depending on your travel insurance excess, however, it's generally not worth making a claim through the insurer if you've just had a straightforward doctors appointment and a prescription for some antibiotics or whatever, so it's up to you whether you can be bothered to fill out the paperwork and go through the red tape yourself.

If the French people were being stroppy at getting their credit cards out boredsurfing, I can only imagine they for some unknown reason expected the medical centre to be like a hospital, as those are the places where you hand over your Carte Vitale and your Mutuelle card (your top-up insurance to cover the % the state doesn't) and so do not have to physically hand over any money. Maybe they had bought Carte Neige and thought they wouldn't have to hand over money for medical costs because of that? If so, wrong, but Carte Neige would reimburse them for any remaining costs once the state and their top-up insurance - if they have it - had reimbursed them, up to 3600 euros.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@Hand Wringer, There were certainly more than a couple getting angry at the receptionist and there were signs in several languages basically saying no credit card no treatment! Possibly they were taking deposits on a credit card in case they didn't get paid? Although I got the distinct impression it was pay by card now and claim later if you can.
Piste rescue weren't so vulgar as to ask, they simply hold your ski's and lift pass number to ransom - even for the helicopter ride Shocked £200 ski's v. £800 heli charge Laughing
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@boredsurfin, if they were French then it definitely sounds to me like they expected the medical centre to operate as a hospital (possibly because you can get X-rays and the like there) because you cannot go to a medical clinic/GP practice and not pay full cost upfront unless you have an ongoing condition as described in my previous post. The only time I've had treatment in France and not had to hand over cash was when I had to go to the hospital recently and because I now have a "Mutuelle" (the top-up insurance, I have a fairly basic one that's more than adequate for me, which costs about 15-20 euros a month) to pick up the % not covered by the state. Otherwise, I would have expected to pay somewhere between 0-30% of the bill having shown them my Carte Vitale (national insurance card).

When I had my ACL reconstructed in Annecy (Clinique Generale) I did not have a Carte Vitale, let alone a Mutuelle, as I was still a UK tax resident and they didn't have a clue what my EHIC card was and they charged me the full amount. I've mentioned the costs on here in the past, years ago, but I forget now... let's say roughly 5k all-in for initial consultation with Xray, multiple GP appointments, months of physio, drugs, MRI, anaesthesia, op, overnight stay, post-op consultations, daily home visit from nurse for a fortnight for anti-coagulation injections etc. etc. Obviously in those circumstances I very much could be bothered to fill out the paperwork myself (was not covered by UK travel insurance as they wanted me to fly back to the UK asap so I could be offloaded from their responsibility onto the NHS but I needed to stay in France) and think I got 80% of that back and was delighted with that (the 5k was our honeymoon fund)! Carte Neige covered the remaining % because it was a mountain activity injury.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
PORTMAN wrote:
When my wife was injured in Mayrhofen by a walking accident fall, The TO rep did not know of any local doctor that accepted the EHIC but We went to the nearest across the road from the TO's office and had no difficulty getting treatment immediately under the EHIC scheme. Try getting that service in England would have had to wait days for an appointment.


Which Doctors did you go to across the road out of interest? It is useful to know who provides treatment in Mayrhofen under the EHIC scheme for future reference especially if apparently there is only one!
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
I think that a lot of Brits think that the EHIC card simply extends free NHS treatment to the country they're in, up-front at the point of treatment. It doesn't, and in most cases, you have to pay, then reclaim.

I've seen bemused Brits in French and Swiss resort clinics waving their EHIC and/or their private Insurance Certificate around, expecting not to have to pay. And being annoyed that they won't get treated unless they do.

As the OP found, your insurer does most of the hard work of taking your EHIC and claiming-back the costs it covers. Anything left is usually either the insurer's excess or costs not covered by the EHIC/policy. For me, the insurance is principally to cover the Big Ticket items of helicopter evacuation and repatriation home on a chartered medical flight. The rest is covered by the EHIC, albeit handled by the insurer. And anything else is down to me.
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LaForet wrote:
I think that a lot of Brits think that the EHIC card simply extends free NHS treatment to the country they're in, up-front at the point of treatment. It doesn't, and in most cases, you have to pay, then reclaim.
In most cases? Is that right? In the two examples I've been involved with where the accident victim was taken to a public hospital it was simply a case of presenting the EHIC card rather than paying for the treatment and reclaiming. In one case there was nothing at all to pay, in the other case it involved an overnight stay and there was a bill of €18 to pay before leaving the hospital. Couldn't have been easier.
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@rob@rar, we paid only the fee at the doctors at the foot of the slopes in advance when J was taken to hospital with his broken neck. 25€ or so I recall. Everything else was sorted by insurers, or billed to our home address and we passed it on for payment. Just a couple of hundred euros despite major surgery, a week in hospital and various scans and x-rays at two hospitals. Even the ambulance driver spoke to the insurers en route and sorted direct payment. I took the EHIC card to the Office d'Etrangers in the CHU in Grenoble and they dealt with the paperwork. Excess was waived under the policy we had at the time because we had the EHIC card.
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Another point to mention is the EHIC covers pre-existing medical conditions that your regular annual winter sports policy may not cover, or if they do then they may require an enhanced premium.

I have a sports injury that happened 5 weeks ago in the UK and MPI won’t cover anything in relation to that body part when I go skiing in this year’s renewal (the renewal date was this week)
So if it does become a problem then it is good to know where the EHIC accepting Doctor is in Mayrhofen. I will have a look who the options are for my next couple of trips too just in case what with it being quite a fresh injury that could easily go again in the right circumstances.
For some things the EHIC can be cheaper than paying the excess on the annual policy so it does make sense to have the two together and possibly a third option if available.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Hells Bells wrote:
@rob@rar, we paid only the fee at the doctors at the foot of the slopes in advance when J was taken to hospital with his broken neck. 25€ or so I recall. Everything else was sorted by insurers, or billed to our home address and we passed it on for payment. Just a couple of hundred euros despite major surgery, a week in hospital and various scans and x-rays at two hospitals. Even the ambulance driver spoke to the insurers en route and sorted direct payment. I took the EHIC card to the Office d'Etrangers in the CHU in Grenoble and they dealt with the paperwork. Excess was waived under the policy we had at the time because we had the EHIC card.
Similar experience to me, although I was flown straight to the public hospital so didn't have to pay a fee for a private doctor in resort. I keep my EHIC card with me (in a little plastic pouch with my lift pass and other insurance details) so I was able to present it at the hospital, so they discharged me with nothing to pay requiring only one signature. The helicopter fee was paid directly by my insurance company a few weeks later when I received an invoice by post. The only thing I had to pay and then reclaim was a taxi ride when the hospital discharged me. I think it is a condition of my travel insurance that I have a valid EHIC card.

Wonder if we'll have access to the EHIC scheme after Brexit...?
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
This crops up every year and every year people post that they’ve had an incident and needed nothing other than their EHIC. Implying those of us who report otherwise are what? Lying?

So yes, if all goes smoothly you may be fine. All I’m saying is be prepared to pay.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@LaForet, and it varies from country to country and even from resort to resort. I don't think anyone was suggesting those who had to pay were lying, we were all relating our own experiences. In our case, everything was dealt with by hospital office and insurance company direct. We were asked to forward any bills to the insurers and they were settled. I had fully expected to have to pay.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
LaForet wrote:
Implying those of us who report otherwise are what? Lying?
Steady on, old chap! Simply sharing experiences, certainly no accusation of lying. I have no idea if my experience is typical or not, I was simply questioning whether "in most cases" was accurate.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
My experience with the hospital in Bourg and the one in Moutiers is that the EHIC resulted in only a small payment by me and no need to claim the bulk of the payment from the DWP on return to the UK. In both cases the insurance co paid the remaining small fee as part of the total claim.

Be aware that unlike rob@rar my insurance co refused to pay for the taxi after discharge from hospital because "it wasn't a necessary expense as a result of the accident". Not sure how I was supposed to get reunited with my clothes etc.!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
tarrantd wrote:
Be aware that unlike rob@rar my insurance co refused to pay for the taxi after discharge from hospital because "it wasn't a necessary expense as a result of the accident". Not sure how I was supposed to get reunited with my clothes etc.!
Shocked That's a bit mean of them! Did they expect you to walk?
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@LaForet, I would think your nearest Swiss hospital is Sion?
EHIC worked very well for me there for emergency admission, operation, 3 night stay and physio.
I got a bill for 92chf at the end, no other paperwork.
I really cannot be bothered to double insure for a 92chf eventuality.
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Everyone's tolerance of risk, and ability to cover that risk, is different.

On the OP... if you were to reclaim your EHIC costs yourself, you could take your excess out of that and hand any balance back to the insurer. Or suggest that they do their own paperwork rather than asking you to do it. Where I have been involved with other peoples' insurers, or hire car insurers, I've often found that they ask me as customer for things which I'v e successfully declined to do or give. They behave as if they are in a strong position because of their small print, but not all of that would pass muster under the nose of my local beak.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
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I believe that the continued use of the EHIC card was one of the (few) issues that has been settled...
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Dr Katrina Weber-Gredler who’s surgery is by the Harakiri bar on the Hauptstrasse in Mayrhofen treated my wife with a ehic card a few years ago.


Last edited by You'll need to Register first of course. on Tue 26-12-17 9:06; edited 1 time in total
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@kevinraine, thanks!
While I’ve been here I walked past a surgery up by the bridge next to the bank on my way into town from the Ahorn side and had a look at the sign outside it. ‘Alle Kassen’ (so ok for EHIC as far as I understand) was on there so it seems there is more than one! This surgery belonged to a Dr Olga Shafe-Schimanek.
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Hurdy wrote:
I believe that the continued use of the EHIC card was one of the (few) issues that has been settled...
When was that agreed? I can't recall it being in the Phase 1 agreement signed earlier in December. Have there been any other agreements?
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
The EHIC doesn’t rely on EU membership, as the card is also valid in Iceland, Liechenstein, Norway and Sweden, countries which aren’t part of the EU.
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welshskier wrote:
The EHIC doesn’t rely on EU membership, as the card is also valid in Iceland, Liechenstein, Norway and Sweden, countries which aren’t part of the EU.
Yes, that's right. The EHIC card is valid in the European Economic Area (EEA) plus Switzerland. At the moment the UK's membership of the EEA or a deal with the EU like Switzerland has looks unlikely after we leave the EU. I guess for the EHIC to continue to be available to UK citizens post-Brexit would require a special deal.
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In Jungfrau, CH, the clinics in Muerren and Lauterbrunnen are private and the hospital in Interlaken is state and accepts EHIC. But there is a monthly fee of CHF90 in the state hospital, no matter how many visits/month. And it is not refundable under the EHIC rules, which it should be, as Switzerland has not enacted the refund mechanism into national law!!
So for simple things, where the cost is less than CHF90 or insurance excess, the private clinic is fine. Eg blood test at CHF20.
Interesting the Austrian Alpine Club insurance medical allowance is only £10,000, may be €. When I queried this, the Club indicated that the sum was fine for limited treatment or initial treatment in a private clinic before using the EHIC in a state hospital. They have only had one payout over the 10k.
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