More competition between health insurers with less protection for patients? The health insurance market in France

Directed by Philippe Batifoulier and Marion Del Sol, this book, published in January 2024, is the third volume of the open access collection “Amplitude of Law”.
Couverture More competition between health insurers with less protection for patients?


The book was coordinated by Philippe Batifoulier (professor of economics at the University Sorbonne Paris Nord) and Marion Del Sol (professor of law at the University of Rennes). It brings together authors from different disciplines: law, economics, history, sociology and political science. They have been working together for the past five years as part of the MaRiSa (Marché du risque santé) project, which has been approved and funded by the ANR, the French National Research Agency.


Illness is a physical and mental ordeal. In France, it has also become a financial ordeal since hospitals sometimes charge fees that are high enough to be considered catastrophic. In France, there are two forms of health insurance. The system of public health insurance called Sécurité sociale and private insurance which is basically complementary to social insurance, that is, it covers the same care. This book examines developments in the market for private health insurance by putting the patient at the centre of the analysis. The book seeks to answer the following question: What is the health insurance market doing to the patient? Related questions are: What is the patient becoming? How is the patient being transformed by upheavals in the health insurance market? How is the patient affected by new regulations that target the market, directly or indirectly? These questions are addressed through the themes of the four parts of this book: the patient and complementary health insurance, the patient and the employer, the patient and insurance contracts, the patient and reimbursements of health expenditures.

The book presents new results, and it deals with the most recent issues: the generalisation of complementary insurance to all private sector employees, the reform of complementary social protection in the civil service, health care networks, policy on total reimbursement of out-of-pocket expenses for some types of care (“100% Health” or “Zero out-of-pocket”), the increase in inequalities, the unique characteristics of mutuelles, concentration among health insurers, etc.

Read the book online