health

Yes to alternative medicine … at low prices!

I have in mind the average rates for these consultations

Roughly speaking, an alternative therapy session (osteopathy, acupuncture, hypnosis, homeopathy, etc.) costs between € 50 and € 80 depending on the specialty chosen, with significant differences between Paris and province. A hypnosis session will cost you between 50 and 70 € in the provinces, around 85 € in Ile-de-France. In osteopathy, the average price is 62 € in Paris and 52 € in the provinces (but in some Parisian districts, the consultation can reach 100 €!). In homeopathy, there are also large price differences between doctors in sector 1 (consultation at 23 €) and those in sector 3 (up to 60 €). For acupuncture, the price varies from 23 € in sector 1 to 150 € for certain acupuncturists in the Paris region.

I start by consulting my doctor

If the therapist you see is a doctor, you may be reimbursed on the basis of a general medical consultation (out of € 23 in sector 1, the Health Insurance reimburses € 15.10). The condition: to be passed beforehand by your attending physician, who will have sent you a letter to address you to an osteopath or homeopath. It is indeed necessary to be “in the course of care” to have a part reimbursed by Social Security. On the other hand, if you consult medical therapists “in direct access” (without going first through your attending physician) or non-medical therapists, Social Security will not reimburse you for anything. You will then need to check with your mutual insurance company.

I ask my mutual

Mutuals (Axa, Smeba, AGF…) are more and more numerous to partially reimburse alternative medicine. “On average, the fixed rate reimbursed per session is between 25 and 30 €, with a limit set at 3 or 4 sessions per year,” says the Mutualité Française. For example, at Allianz, 35% of contracts sold in 2014 included reimbursement for alternative medicine, with a maximum of 4 sessions per year and a flat rate varying from € 25 to € 70 depending on the contract. If your mutual does not pay for your alternative medicine consultations at all, it is worth evaluating your annual consumption and studying the contracts of other mutuals. Currently, 55% of insured persons with complementary health insurance are partially reimbursed for this care.

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I target recognized therapists via online directories

By avoiding going into the hands of “charlatans”, you avoid wasting time and you save money. According to the latest report on sectarian aberrations, 39% affect the health sector! To find the contact details of competent therapists, it is advisable to consult the online directories of unions and associations representing the profession (non-exhaustive list):

  • For osteopathy: www.osteos.net; www.osteopathie.org
  • For hypnosis: http://www.snhypnose.org/index.php/fr/public/annuaire-des-hypnotherapeutes
  • For acupuncture: http://www.acumedsyn.org/index.php/rech-acupun or www.acupuncteur.org
  • For homeopathic doctors: www.snmhf.net
  • For chiropractors: www.chiropraxie.com or www.repertoiredeschiropraticiens.fr

And on the Internet, is it cheaper?

For drugs, no, the prices are not lower online. On the other hand, it is rather interesting for herbal medicine, aromatherapy products and food supplements. An example: we found “Arkofluides light legs set of two” for € 15.89 on www.1001 pharmacies.com, compared to € 19.90 in a neighborhood pharmacy… A nice difference! “In general, we see a difference of 20 to 25% between online prices and prices in pharmacies,” we confirm at Arkopharma. Be careful, there is no absolute rule in this matter. Some large pharmacies also have very attractive prices because they buy large volumes of products through a group. To buy smart, there is only one rule: take the time to compare.

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Poll “Do you use alternative medicine to treat yourself?”

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