My period panties reimbursed? Yes quite !
It took until the end of 2015 for them to be classified as essential products in France, reducing their VAT to 5.5%. Unfortunately, the price of periodic protection is still high. But good news, they can be covered by certain mutuals, even menstrual panties !
Women's initiatives that make things happen
First, it was a group of women, the Georgette Sands, who convinced our deputies to look into the famous “pink tax” also known as the “buffer tax”. One more inequality between the sexes that nestles in the price of certain services or products. Well yes, why does it cost us twice as much as these gentlemen to go to the hairdresser, and why are our disposable razors more expensive than theirs? And why were our sanitary protections, which we do not buy out of coquetry, taxed at 20% and not 5.5% like basic necessities ? Thanks to the rant of the Georgettes, this injustice on periodic protections has been repaired since the end of 2015.
Women's initiatives around access to periodic protection continue and in 2018, it was a representative of the LMDE student mutual insurance company who inaugurated their first partial coverage. This is a first in France: menstruation is becoming a health issue!
How do I know if my health insurance reimburses my menstrual panties?
If your mutual health insurance contract mentions "reimbursement of periodic protection", then that's all good.
Even if the reduction in VAT initially concerned only disposable periodic protections, since last year zero waste protections such as cups and menstrual panties enjoy the same status! The same goes for their coverage by mutual insurance companies that offer reimbursement for your intimate protection. Maybe it's time to switch to period panties if you haven't already? Up-to-date protection that respects your vaginal flora , your movements, and our beautiful planet.
Is the process complicated to get reimbursed?
Absolutely not: the procedure is generally the same as for all health reimbursements which must be made in advance. And even downright simple with certain mutuals. At nutUus or even SMENO, all you have to do is send a photo of your invoice via the application. A great initiative to encourage and facilitate access to new generation protection.
On the reimbursement rate side, some mutuals go up to €100 per year depending on the contract taken out. But this varies from one mutual to another. To find out what you are entitled to with yours, the easiest way is to ask them the question directly.
Other great initiatives against menstrual poverty
All over the world, many women have financial difficulties that do not allow them to properly provide themselves with periodic protection. This is often the case with female students. But it's moving! Many feminist collectives are talking about the subject, and the #MeToo movement has given a little boost.
In France: Things are happening in some universities, like in La Rochelle where two students launched the Primrose project . Thanks to their initiative, distributors of periodic protection, they hope sustainable and ecological, will have free access in their university. We find today similar movements in Rennes, at the Sorbonne, in Lille. In Montpellier, the association Femmes Invisibles distributes kits of hygiene products and periodic protection to women living on the street.
The other countries where things are happening - the list is not exhaustive and we hope this is just the beginning;)
In Scotland: since 2018 female pads are free for students and schoolgirls.
In England: a supermarket chain was paying the buffer tax before Brexit, which led to a reduction in VAT. As the United Kingdom is no longer bound by European legislation, sanitary protection is no longer classified as a beauty product.
In Germany: self-service tampons can be found in the toilets of museums and cafés.
In California: public schools are required to provide free sanitary pads to young girls.
In South Korea: young women from the poorest families receive aid for these essential feminine products.