Medicines and consultations: the government plans to charge patients more

Medicines and consultations: the government plans to charge patients more

The government is trying to save money. The field of health is not spared since Bruno Le Maire, Minister of the Economy, would consider increasing the medical deductible and the flat-rate contribution on the consultation. Measures which risk accentuating the difficulties of access to care for the French.

Towards a doubling of the remaining charge for medicines and consultations

The deductible on medicines corresponds to the amount deducted from the reimbursements made by Health Insurance on medicines, paramedical acts and medical transport. Currently, on each box of drugs reimbursed by Social Security, 50 euro cents remain payable by the patient. The government would like to double this remaining charge (which has not changed since 2008), which would therefore amount to 1 euro.

The flat-rate contribution corresponds to the remainder payable by the patient for each consultation or medical procedure, for any radiology or medical biology procedure. It is €1 within the limit of €50 per year and per person. The government would like to raise it to €2.

These two measures, still at the draft stage, are part of the 2024 Social Security financing bill (PLFSS). deficit of 21 billion euros in 2022.

Announcements that are far from unanimous

For Gérard Raymond, president of Europe Assos Santé, these measures will only accentuate the difficulties of access to care for the French. “If the measure goes to the end, we would be in double, triple, quadruple trouble. The French can no longer find a general practitioner, they struggle to get an appointment with a specialist… and now they are financially punished! With this specter of additional costs, they are punished for being sick”he told our colleagues from Paris.

For her part, Agnès Giannotti, patron of the MG Europe generalist union, fears that these measures will financially weaken the most modest. Patients “who are just above the thresholds to benefit from state aid but who have chronic illnesses, with medication to be taken daily and regular appointments with their attending physician”.

A saving of one billion euros

The Ministry of the Economy indicates that doubling the medical deductible would save less than one billion euros per year. But this saving will be possible on condition that the ceiling of the medical deductible, which is currently €50 per year, is doubled. Today, if this ceiling is exceeded, the patient is fully reimbursed by health insurance. The government would therefore also work on an increase in this ceiling to achieve its savings objective.

If that cap doesn’t increase, the impact on patients should actually be minimal.”, said Philippe Besset, president of the first union of community pharmacists, in an interview with Le Parisien. “It is this ceiling that must be closely monitored. If he moves there, access to care would be threatened”at-il have you.

Other avenues under study to straighten out finances

The government is studying other measures to balance the Social Security budget. Bruno Le Maire would like to better index alcohol taxes to inflation. This would result in an increase of a few cents in the price of a bottle of wine and of 1 to 2 € in the price of a bottle of hard liquor.

This would allow the State to collect several hundred million additional euros. Another measure under study: the partial coverage of daily sick leave allowances by employers. Finally, the government would like to reduce the reimbursement of Covid antigenic tests carried out in pharmacies.