Yesterday, on January 11th, I received my Carte Vitale in my work mailbox. What is the Carte Vitale?
Good question. Basically, this green credit-sized card is my ticket to medical treatment without much, if any, costs to pay. As I am a resident of France for the duration of my TAPIF contract, I have been entitled to medical reimbursement since day one, but I would have had to pay up front and get reimbursed later. With this Carte Vitale, if I needed to go to the doctor or hospital, at most I would need to pay a consultation fee ( of less than 25 euros!), which would be reimbursed.Luckily, I haven`t had to go see a doctor since I`ve been in France (knock on wood!) but now I am official in the French health care system!
The French health care system has an automatic part: La Sécu. Since I`m a language assistant, I technically work for the French Ministry of Education, which means my health care coverage is supplied through the MGEN, or Mutuelle Générale de l`Education Nationale. All this means is that I will reimbursed about 70 % of my medical costs while in France.