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Do I really have to pay this hospital bill from Paris

Pasadena, California
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Do I really have to pay this hospital bill from Paris

On the topic of visiting the hospital while in Paris.....was I just the stupid American that thought this was a country with socialized medicine? I thought that while I was visiting Paris and my daughter became very sick with the flu (requiring IV fluids and an overnight stay) that we would not be billed. Crazy I know. But honestly, that is what I thought. We are not billed up front in the U.S. but receive the bill in the mail a month or so later, just as I did from the French. Is this because I am not French or am I simply confused as to the idea of socialized medicine. Those in the know...do I really have to pay this bill that amounts to @ $1700 dollars???

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Paris
Paris
Ile-de-France, France
Can Alegria Paris
$$ - $$$, French, Mediterranean, European
Uma Nota
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Sydney, Australia
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1. Re: Do I really have to pay this hospital bill from Paris

I don't think that the US has a reciprocal agreement with France regarding healthcare.

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France
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Saratoga Springs, NY
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2. Re: Do I really have to pay this hospital bill from Paris

First submit it to your health insurance company. Also, if you paid for the trip with your credit card, there is probably some trip insurance that will cover you -- I know my Mastercard has that automatically included if I pay for my airfare 100% with that credit card.

Socialized medicine is for the citizens of the country in question. The health insurance premiums are paid by the citizens in the form of high taxes.

If you have no insurance that can cover your bill, then I would write them a letter and see if they can reduce the charges -- just as you would try to do in this country if you had no insurance and needed a hospital stay.

No. California
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3. Re: Do I really have to pay this hospital bill from Paris

As you are not a French citizen I would certainly think you are

responsible for paying the bill. "Socialized medicine" does not

mean free treatment for anyone who walks in the hospital from

another country.

I can certainly sympathize with having a sick child away from home but have you checked to see whether your own medical

insurance company will oay part of the bill?

Toronto, Canada
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4. Re: Do I really have to pay this hospital bill from Paris

Unless you took out travel medical insurance, then unfortunately it is your bill. Same if you ever travel to Canada and require a trip to the hospital, you will be required to pay a bill at some point unless you have travel medical coverage.

Sydney, Australia
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5. Re: Do I really have to pay this hospital bill from Paris

"As you are not a French citizen I would certainly think you are

responsible for paying the bill. "Socialized medicine" does not

mean free treatment for anyone who walks in the hospital from

another country."

I would never go overseas without Travel Insurance. I would not expect another country to cover my health costs.

My son hurt his foot the last time we were in Paris, (needed Xrays, medication & crutches) and I have to say, the medical care was excellent.

It was reimbursed once we got home & claimed. The fees were very reasonable though.

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Paris
Paris
Ile-de-France, France
Canada
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6. Re: Do I really have to pay this hospital bill from Paris

nods to what others have said. As a Canadian, I pay taxes that cover my health care. Not paying the bill is the same as stealing. If you didn't take out travel insurance, you may have coverage via credit card or your own personal health insurance. I had a bill from the hospital in Vienna which my travel insurance paid.

I think it's a bit strange that you didn't think you would be billed. I'm sure that you provided them with your home address: why do you think they wanted that info?

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Vienna
Vienna
Vienna Region, Austria
Palm Beach Gardens...
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7. Re: Do I really have to pay this hospital bill from Paris

Sounds to me like you are responsible for this bill...Travel insurance has saved me financially, as well as my Mother and a close friend all on separate occasions.

It is SO low cost compared to an out of pocket medical expense.

Sydney, Australia
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8. Re: Do I really have to pay this hospital bill from Paris

We have socialised health care in Australia as well, but I don't think the taxpayers would take kindly to us paying for health care of everyone visiting here. We don't make overseas visitors pay up front, just send the bill. It was in our news a few months ago, about the problem of visitors not paying their bills, and the cost to us.

We look after our country's inhabitants & those we have a reciprocal arrangement with.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the French system is rated the best in the world.

Chicago, Illinois
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9. Re: Do I really have to pay this hospital bill from Paris

I am sort of shocked that an American thinks they can receive free care from a country where they don't pay taxes. Certainly this bill is small compared to what you would pay for similar care in the US but you can hardly expect not to pay when you are not part of the social contract in France.

Check to make sure your Us insurance won't cover it (every health insurance we have had would do so for emergency care our of network)

and if not, then pay the bill.

and feel lucky it was France which has the best health care system in the world.

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France
France
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Sydney, Australia
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10. Re: Do I really have to pay this hospital bill from Paris

My husband was hospitalised for three days in Dinan with pneumonia. He received excellent care but even though we had Insurance cover, it was easier to pay the bill on his leaving hospital (not in advance) and be reimbursed later. Ours was also a Platinum CC insurance and it worked fabulously well.

We do not have reciprocal care with France and I believe the US does not either. At least the fees we paid were much less than I think we would have been charged in the US. I think for his time in a private room in intensive care, plus all medications, we were charged €2000.

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