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FILM

French TV and films to watch in February

Classic films, new comedy, water-cooler drama, culinary reality, and world-class sport all vie for our attention in the shortest month of the year.

French TV and films to watch in February
Image: Totems / Amazon Prime

Here we check out the best of what’s on offer across French TV and streaming platforms in February.

Claude Berri collection – Netflix

From February 1st

Oh, Netflix … with not one but seven films from the great Claude Berri available on the first day of February, you are spoiling us.

The on-demand platform will add Tchao Pantin, Jean de Florette, Manon des Sources, Uranus, Le Vieil Homme et l’Enfant, Germinal, and his penultimate film Ensemble, c’est tout. Try to watch them all – but if you can’t, start with Jean de Florette and Manon des Sources … then watch them all.

The Winter Olympics – France 2 and France 3

From February 4th to February 20th

Some 87 French athletes have travelled across the world to take part in the Winter Games in Beijing.

There are plenty of reasons to question this event, but for these athletes just getting here is the culmination of many years of effort – and there’ll be some epic performances on (artificial) snow and ice during the competition.

Une intime conviction – Netflix

From February 6th

Antoine Raimbault’s courtroom drama, based on the true story of the two trials of a Toulouse law professor following the disappearance of his wife in the early years of the 21st century.

All but one of the actors play real people who were involved in the actual case – Olivier Gourmet plays current Justice Minister Eric Dupond-Moretti, who was involved in the case in his previous career as a lawyer.

Prête-moi ta main – Disney Plus

From February 11th

Middle-aged Parisian bachelor Alain Chabat is in no rush to get married. But, when his devoted mother Bernadette Lafont, and five sisters agree that he should settle down, they set Luis up for a series of doomed dates.

To stop their well-meaning match-making, he asks his best friend’s sister Charlotte Gainsbourg to pose as his new girlfriend. We think you know where this is going…

Top Chef – M6

Wednesday, February 16th, and Replay services from February 17th

Good news and bad news for fans of culinary reality shows. Top Chef returns this month to dominate Wednesday evening schedules for weeks to come, with its usual mix of cooking challenges (think the French version of MasterChef).

This time, sadly, there’s no Michel Sarran to lead the yellow team. He’s been replaced by Glenn Viel – the youngest chef in the world to be awarded three Michelin stars – as the fourth chef leader, alongside Philippe Etchebest, Hélène Darroze and Paul Pairet. 

 

Totems – Amazon Prime

From February 18th

1965. The frozen heart of the Cold War. A French rocket scientist is sent out into the field on an impossible covert mission – and promptly falls for a Soviet spy. Niels Schneider, Vera Kolesnikova, Lambert Wilson and José Garcia star in what’s already being described as ‘Event TV’.

Le Chant du Loup – Netflix

From February 20th

As if seven Claude Berri films and a courtroom drama weren’t enough, this high-tension undersea thriller with Francois Civil and Omar Sy will have you biting your nails to the quick later in the month.

On board a French nuclear submarine, everything rests on a man with the gift of recognising every sound. Deemed infallible, he makes an error that puts the rescue mission and the crew in danger. It’s directed by Antonin Baudry – who’s also a diplomat specialising in cultural affairs, comic book author, and screenwriter. You have to wonder how he finds the time…

Weekend Family – Disney Plus

From February 23rd

Eric Judor stars in Disney Plus’s first French production – a comedy – as a three-by-three father, with three daughters by three former partners, whose already complicated life becomes even more difficult when he falls in love for a fourth time. 

Comme des Garçons – Amazon Prime

From February 25th

A womanising sports journalist in late 1960s France organises a women’s football match for his paper’s annual fete, and ropes in the editor’s assistant to help him. Little do the warring pair realise that they’re about to create the first women’s football team in the country.

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HEALTH

Why medical costs are rising in France in 2024

Two changes set to come into effect in 2024 will leave French residents facing higher costs for prescriptions and medical appointments.

Why medical costs are rising in France in 2024

In January, the French government announced plans to double two healthcare expenses, the ‘franchise médicale’ and the ‘participation forfaitaire’.

Both of these are fees are deducted from the reimbursement of medical costs such as prescription charges and appointment fees, but they are applied in different circumstances.

How the fees work

France’s healthcare system works on a reimbursement model – you pay the doctor, pharmacist or other medical professional up front and then some or all of the cost is reimbursed to you by the French state.

But the exact amount that you are reimbursed is worked out according to a complicated formula that takes into account your personal circumstances, the type of treatment you are having and the status of the doctor who is treating you.

You can find a full explanation of how it works HERE.

However, after the reimbursement is calculated a small amount is subtracted from the total cost – the ‘franchise médicale‘ and the ‘participation forfaitaire‘. These costs (usually around €1) are therefore not reimbursed.

Generally, any costs that are not reimbursed by the state will be covered by the ‘top-up insurance’ known as a mutuelle, if you have one. However the ‘franchise médicale‘ and the ‘participation forfaitaire‘ are not covered by a mutuelle either, so you pay them out of pocket.

Franchise médicale

The ‘franchise médicale’ is applied to prescriptions, visits to ‘paramedical’ professionals (including appointments with nurses, physiotherapists and masseurs, speech therapists and eye specialists), and non-emergency medical transport.

From March 31st 2024, the franchise médicale will double – going from €0.50 to €1 for prescriptions and ‘paramedical procedures’ and from €2 to €4 for patient transport.

There is currently a cap of €50 on the total amount you can pay in franchise médicales per year. This will remain in place despite the increased charges, according to the French government site Service-Public.

There are also caps on the amount that can be charged in franchise médicale in one day, and this will increase after March 31st as well.

The maximum amount that can be charged in one day in franchise médicales for paramedical appointments will raise to €4, instead of €2 previously. Meanwhile, for medical transport, the maximum will go up to €8 in one day, instead of €4 previously.

Does everyone have to pay this?

Some groups do not have to pay franchises médicales;

  • children under the age of 18;
  • beneficiaries of complementary health insurance (Complémentaire santé solidaire) or state medical aid (Aide Médicale de l’Etat – AME)
  • pregnant women from the first day of the sixth month of pregnancy until the 12th day after giving birth;
  • minors purchasing contraception and/or the morning-after-pill without parental consent;
  • victims of terrorism

How does it work in practice?

You will continue to pay the same price for prescriptions, appointments and transport, but the reimbursement amount you receive will be slightly less.

So let’s take a prescription as an example; you pay the pharmacist €10 for a box of tablets that have a reimbursement rate of 65 percent – you will be reimbursed €5.50 (65 percent of €10 is €6.50, minus €1 franchise médicale equals €5.50). 

If you have a full-cover mutuelle, you will receive €3.50 from the mutuelle, leaving you to pay €1.

What about the participation forfaitaire?

This is the same principle as the franchise médicale, but is applied to different types of healthcare –  specifically any appointment with or procedure carried out by a general practitioner or specialist, as well as X-Rays, scans and lab tests.

Previously, it was set to a flat rate of €1 across the board. However, starting in June 2024, it will increase – the exact amount is still to be clarified, but it will not be more than €3, according to the government decree.

Like the franchise médicale, there will be a €50 annual cap on costs.

How does this work?

As with the franchise médicale, you will pay the same price for appointments and treatments, but the reimbursement will be slightly less.

Let’s take as an example an appointment with a GP who is ‘sector one’ – the standard charging rate for GPs – which are reimbursed at 70 percent.

Assuming that the new charge is €2, you would pay the standard appointment fee of €26.50 and will be reimbursed at €16.55 – 70 percent of the €26.50 (€18.55) minus €2.

If you have a mutuelle, it would cover €7.95, leaving you to pay €2. 

Why raise rates?

The French healthcare system is currently in deficit and the government is hoping that the charges will allow it to raise additional funds – although the vast majority of healthcare funding continues to come from the public purse, via taxes and social charges.

According to RTL, increasing these charges will allow the state to add take in about €800,000 million in funding. 

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