Getting that Carte Vitale

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.

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Initial TAPIF tasks

There`s a lot to do as soon as you arrive in a foreign country to work! I arrived in Oyonnax almost a month ago and am still going strong with paperwork and administration. Its France after all! Here are some of the tasks Ive been working on:

  • get a phone: this was the first task checked off my list. Since I really had to get a phone after my computer crashed, I bought a cheap flip phone and a refillable French SIM card so I could communicate with my contact teacher. So far I`ve put 20 euros on the card and its lasted me this long! Update: I received my new SIM card in the mail today from the French cell phone provider B and You. I`ve signed up for the cheapest plan possible, 4 euros a month for unlimited texts and 2 hours of calling within France!

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