Qs and As



For at least how long must a new member stay in the same option?

A missionary can change option when they change country of care or when their responsibilities mean they have to travel; membership is half-yearly; changes can be made each quarter.

We want to make a sister a member on 1 February in option 1. What is our contribution going to be?

Membership is effective from 1 January, because IMS membership is for whole half-years or quarters, namely 1 January, 1 April, 1 July or 1 October. For a request to join made for example on 1 February, the IMS enrols the new member on 1 April.

Is there an age limit for joining the IMS?

No, there is no age limit nor medical questionnaire. From the age of 65, support for hospitalisation costs is however limited to 6 months over the year for the same complaint.

When a beneficiary member is no longer in their area of enrolment, can they be replaced by another new member of their group?

Since enrolment is personal (allocation of a registration number), the contract cannot benefit a new arrival.

A new group joins the IMS: must it necessarily have a manager?

Yes, the section must have the name of the contact in charge of the group. This person will receive explanations and documents to ensure they are an effective intermediary between its members and the section.

What is the role of the membership committee?

A particular case may arise in a congregation or a diocese which may give rise to a review by this committee, for example, when the IMS’ principles cannot be complied with scrupulously or when the articles of the congregation raise questions.

Is there a minimum subscription period for a group?

A community which enrols a group to the IMS makes a 3-year commitment. If for a particular reason, the community requests that this group should be removed before the 3-year period, and it wishes to join again, a 6-month waiting period will apply, during which no benefit will be paid.

The Guide states that membership is collective; what about the women religious already covered by healthcare insurance?

Collective membership is a basic principle of the IMS, as the superior or the bishop must provide social protection to all their members. There are situations where men or women religious or priests are excluded from the rule, such as those already insured by local / national insurance.

Does a principle of retroactive membership exist?

Membership takes effect every half-year (when the Group revises its list) or quarterly (arrival during the year), which enables a Group to plan ahead; membership with retroactive effect is not allowed.

I do not have an IMS membership card or a VITALE health card, is this normal?

Yes, it is normal. The IMS does not issue a card, but will provide a certificate on request to the Section.


A Father left the IMS on 20 September, so can the IMS provide a credit note for the last quarter?

Any half-year started is payable; the priest benefits from IMS services until 31 December.

Can a group be enrolled in January and ask to cancel two or three months afterwards?

Yes, this is possible, but any half-year started is payable.


We have heard that a contributions reduction committee exists; what is its role?

When an IMS Group has economic difficulties, the contributions reduction committee can study the situation to possibly decide to grant one-off exceptional assistance. The request must be made to the Section (letter setting out the reasons from the person in charge of the community accompanied by the accounting position of the 3 previous years).

What is the member numbers premium?

Each IMS Group pays a premium for membership of the IMS; it is identical regardless of the number of members enrolled. 50% is paid in early January and then 50% in early July.

When are the contributions requested?

The Sections send their invoice to each Group in early January (payment of 50% of the annual premium) and in early July (the remaining 50%).


What is the period of validity of invoices for reimbursements?

To be taken into account by a section, the healthcare invoices for reimbursement must be sent within 2 years of the date of the healthcare.

Does IMS advance the care costs directly to hospitals?

With some hospitals with which there are agreements (Saint-Christophe in France, Abidjan), the IMS will pay the invoice (except the fee for a room). You must check in advance, because payment must be requested from the section.

Can a Group send invoices electronically to speed up the procedures?

Electronic invoices are accepted by the Sections (sent by email), accompanied by a summary statement (downloadable from the website). We recommend you limit the number of invoices per statement to 10 (begin a new one if more than 10).

Will the IMS accept quotations?

The amount of IMS assistance is described in detail in the Services Guide. The Sections are available to reply more precisely if necessary. Paid invoices (not quotations) are sent to the IMS to receive assistance.

Enrolled in option 4, I have a subscription for products which were bought in Europe. Can I obtain a participation from the IMS?

One of the principles of the IMS lies in the choice of the country of care. Since reimbursements are made according to the option and to the area, invoices should be presented which are issued in the country which lies within the scope of the countries corresponding to the chosen option.


Is there a particular procedure that is necessary before seeking medical treatment in a hospital which has IMS agreement?

It is possible to contact and go directly to one of these hospitals, presenting proof of membership of the IMS (issued by the IMS Section). On request, the local IMS Section can provide all details.

Which hospitals are covered?

The list of hospitals is displayed on the IMS website; the purpose of the agreement is shown.


A sister has had a serious accident; Can the IMS help her and if yes, how?

Any group can make a social fund aid request using the formula available on the IMS website.

Can I request participation from the Social Fund if I am in option 4 and I receive care in an option 1 country?

Care costs are reimbursed and may give rise to supplementary assistance from the Social Fund when the care is provided in the country corresponding to the option. The individual files are processed by the Section.

When should requests be sent?

Requests can be sent throughout the year. The social fund committees meet on regular dates (level 1: contact the section; level 2: half-yearly committees).


I am in Option 4 and I am ill. Can I change to Option 1 to get treatment in one of the countries of the Option 1 area?

Changing to an International Option (1 or 2) is made on presentation of a mission statement.

I am in Option 4B, in what country can I receive treatment?

It is possible to receive care and be reimbursed in the countries of Area B as well as in those of the “lower” areas (C, D, E).

Can a Group have several Options?

The choice of Options is determined according to the countries as described in the Services Guide). Generally, a Group enrols the members of a country in the same Option. It can also constitute several colleges (e.g. men religious in an international Option because they travel / the other in a local Option).

What is the procedure for switching a group from Option 4 to Option 1?

On receipt of the list to be updated (end of a half-year), the Group manager will make the request (enclosing the mission statement) and if approved this will take effect from the following half-year.

Can a member in Option 4 switch to Option 1 within the same group?

Yes, they can change to Option 1 (in the case of a change of country of mission, while remaining in the group, for example, where they are given a responsibility which requires regular travel to an Option 1 country). Transfer due to an illness is not allowed.


I am in Option 2. Do I benefit from “medical evacuation” cover?

Yes, medical evacuation is reserved for members of Options 1 & 2 (so-called “international” options).

Is medical evacuation reimbursed in full?

IMS participates 80% of the cost of 5 air tickets (economy seats).

I have booked my plane tickets for my medical evacuation. Will the IMS participate?

The medical evacuation request is validated by Mutas before purchase of the tickets.

I need medical checks to be made. Can I benefit from the “medical evacuation” cover to do so?

Medical evacuation is reserved for cases of serious affection requiring hospitalisation within 8 days following the evacuation.

Can medical evacuation be made to different countries?

Yes, MUTAS will prefer evacuation to a nearby country with appropriate medical infrastructure. The country of origin is not therefore necessarily the destination.

I need a medical evacuation. Who do I contact?

You must contact MUTAS; their alarm centre is available 24/7 phone 33 32 2 272 09 00 / fax 00 32 2 270 03 05.


How do 1 obtain the Services Guide?

The Guide is available by download in various languages from the IMS website.