Screening is the first bulwark in the fight against Covid-19: how much will it cost you if you take a test abroad? What is the price of a test in France for a foreign tourist? Will the “comfort” tests pay off?
The summer holidays are starting, and the reimbursement of Covid screening tests is hardening for tourists, whether they are foreigners in France or French abroad, while waiting for a possible turn of the screw in France for the natives.
Abroad: covered if medical necessity
For the moment, the Health Insurance covers the tests carried out in 30 European countries (EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland), whether they are “of a medical nature” in the event of symptoms, or “of an administrative nature. To enter the territory of certain states – for example to return to France if one is not fully vaccinated against Covid.
If the test is not “immediately necessary”, or if you do not present your European health insurance card during the examination, you must send the invoice and a form to the Social Security, which reimburses “on the based on a fixed rate of 35 euros ”. In all other countries, only “urgent and unexpected” tests are covered, up to 27% of their cost and also up to a limit of 35 euros, upon presentation of a prescription or a medical certificate.
The Minister of Health, Olivier Véran, however affirmed in mid-June to the Parisian that “the PCR (or) antigenic tests carried out by the French wishing to return to France will not be supported by the health insurance. As regards procedures of a more administrative nature, such as the possibility of taking a plane, it is not planned at this stage that this will be taken care of, ”he added.
For foreign tourists, paid tests from July 7
Until now, nationals of the 30 European countries mentioned above have been able to have their screening reimbursed by the Social Security, or even benefit from third-party payment in certain cases.
But a few days before the high season, government spokesman Gabriel Attal announced that the tests will now be “paying from July 7 for foreign tourists, up to 49 euros for PCR and 29 euros for antigens” .
A turnaround justified by the government spokesperson, who made it “a matter of reciprocity, knowing that these tests are paying in most countries for French people who travel”.
“Comfort” tests: the threat
Seriously considered by the government, the delisting of tests without medical reason would be a way of pushing the recalcitrant to be vaccinated without establishing a formal obligation, while limiting the costs for the Social Security, which should spend 5 billion euros just for testing this year.
The Academy of Medicine provided the angle of attack ten days ago, targeting tests “for personal convenience”, quickly renamed “comfort tests”.
“This is a track that is being studied, but not immediately”, confirmed Olivier Véran on Tuesday on France Info, taking as an example a “comfort test” carried out “before going to a discotheque” then ” that we are not symptomatic (nor) case contact ”.