This wasn’t actually on our bucket list, but we can now tick off paying a French hospital bill after receiving emergency treatment. Now we may be stating the obvious, but we hope we are never in the situation of having to do it again.
I’m presuming you have received a PayFip bill from a French hospital after you holiday, most commonly issued after an injury Skiing in the French Alps or when visiting free Paris attractions. Below we will detail how to pay French medical bills online. If you haven’t yet got yours we will also let you know how long it will take to receive your medical invoice and hopefully how much it will cost you.
Our French Hospital Experience
Whilst halfway through a Western European cruise aboard the Carnival Pride, we docked in La Rochelle; which is used as the port to access Bordeaux. This looked like it was going to be a beautiful town to walk around.
You can probably tell by the language we’re using that we didn’t get to see a lot of it. After taking the complimentary shuttle from the port to the out skirts of La Rochelle, we took the short walk to the town centre and harbour.
Our first stop on the way was the Tour de la Lanterne followed by the Tour de la Chaine. It was whilst admiring the picturesque harbour that disaster struck. We turned to head in to the town and as we did so my foot slipped off the edge of the kerb and buckled underneath me.
This was extremely embarrassing, as we have been hiking in Hawaii, walked the Freedom Trail in Boston, trekked the ruins Athens and even taken part in the Universal Mardi Gras parade. But we were taken out by a kerb in france.
Paramedic Treatment in France
We instantly knew we had done some serious damage as we lay on the ground in agony. Luckily for me there was a Sunday market and one of the lovely stall holders came rushing to my rescue. She was able to call emergency services and tell them what had happened and where we were.
Shortly after this the paramedics arrived to assess my Injury, it quickly became obvious that we was unable to walk. An inflatable cast was applied to leg and in to the ambulance we went. Two things were running through my mind at this point, firstly we knew we needed to get back to the ship by 4pm, secondly we had heard all sorts of horror stories about the cost of treatment and was worried about how much my French medical bill would be.
The ambulance arrived at the hospital after a short journey, where we were greeted by a triage nurse. We tried to explain that we needed to leave and didn’t want treatment as we were worried about returning to the ship. Luckily for me they couldn’t understand what we were saying.
After completing some forms with guidance from the nurse, we were taken to have an x-ray. We thought to myself, oh great, more costs to add to my bill. It turns out we had fractured my ankle and caused severe damage to the ligaments and surrounding tissue.
I was given then given a copy of my x-ray and diagnosis paperwork, which contained guidance for treatment and was also told we would need to get an aircast boot for my foot. That was it, no crutches or pain medication and we didn’t even receive a medical bill. We then got an Uber back to the coach meeting point and headed back to the ship.
It wasn’t until six weeks after the accident that we received a PayFiP hospital bill from the French government. Thankfully the bill was nowhere near the astronomical amounts we read about on the internet, despite receiving what we thought would be expensive treatment; which you can see in our FAQ’s below.
How to Pay French Hospital Bill Using PayFip
Despite several internet searches, we could not get any clear information on how to pay a French medical bill. So the whole process took much longer than it should have, as none of the information requested seemed to correlate with what was on my bill; even though we used the google translate app to help with the wording on the bill.
So it was this frustration which led to me putting together this guide on how to pay a hospital bill from France. Which will provide step by step instructions of what information from the bill you will need to provide, as well as answer some questions you may have prior to your PayFip medical bill arriving.
French Medical Bill Payment Process
To make your payment you will need to visit the PayFip website and have details from your bill to hand. Then you can follow these simple steps.
The first thing you want to do is click on the British flag in the top right corner. This will translate the page to English. Then click the “Pay Your Public Invoice” button.
This will take you to the first stage of payment, where you will see a box asking you to pride your Establishment’s identification number
The Establishment’s identification number is located on the payslip and is the 6 digit number next to Id Collectivite.
Once you have input that number and clicked confirm, you will be taken through to a screen that requests to numbers from you. These are French medical bill reference number and the billing amount.
The billing amount is pretty self-explanatory, but the reference number can be a little confusing. It consists of two lots of numbers separated by a hyphen and is located underneath Reference dette on the payslip.
The next screen you will see will ask you to confirm the patient number. Unfortunately we were unable to get a screen shot of this and subsequent sections as you can’t access them again once the medical bill has been paid.
The patient number can be found in two places on your PayFiP invoice. It appears in the top right of your invoice and also on the payslip next to No entrée.
Once you have entered your patient number you will be taken through to a confirmation page to confirm all the details are correct. The next page will be where you provide payment and contact details, PayFiP accept debit cards as well as visa and mastercard.
Following completion, you will receive an email to confirm you have successfully paid your French hospital bill.
French Hospital Billing FAQ’s
We know some of you may not have received a medical bill from France just yet, so here we will address some of the questions we had.
How long Does It Take to Receive a Hospital Bill From France?
Our initial search told us that a medical invoice should arrive within 30 days. But our PayFiP invoice actually arrived 6 weeks after being discharged.
How much do you pay for medical bills in France?
As we mentioned earlier, we had seen some horror stories of people being billed thousands of pounds following hospital treatment in France.
Now we appreciate each incident will be different but our bill came to just over €117, which we thought was extremely reasonable. Especially when you consider we required an ambulance as well an x-ray as part of our treatment. Our Uber bill to get back to the ship actually cost more thena the paramedics and ambulance ride.
Can I Pay My Medical Bill Online?
Your hospital bill comes with a payment slip attached, similar to giro in the UK. This slip can be used to make payment by post, but more conveniently you can also make a payment online at payfip.gouv.fr
What Is PayFip?
We had heard a story of a friend’s relative being scammed following treatment in France with a fake bill. So naturally we were sceptical when we got ours from PayFip.
Thankfully we were quickly able to establish that PayFip is used by the French government to collect payments following hospital treatment.