The Health Service in France

There is now great news for those planning to move to move on a permanent basis and are not yet in receipt of a pension.

From 1st January 2016, ANYONE who has moved to France and been living here as a permanent resident can apply for French health care coverage. So this means that if you are intending to move to France, or already have, and are not working, you can apply for your Carte Vitale once you have lived here for three months on a ‘stable and regular’ basis.

This policy change equalises rights for EU citizens with non-EU citizens, who already had the right to apply for their Carte Vitale after three months’ permanent residence in France, whilst EU residents were obliged to wait five years.

If you have no professional activity, regardless of your age, the protection universelle maladie guarantees a right to the reimbursement of most of your health costs (70% on average) and the application system is now much simplified. Individuals need to complete the correct form from l’Assurance Maladie and send it back with the requested supporting documents to your local CPAM (Caisse Primaire d’Assurance Maladie) office. You will still need a ‘top up’ insurance and details of a broker are listed below.

A general rule of thumb is that you will be expected to make a contribution of around 8% from your income towards your health cover directly plus obviously the cost of your ‘top-up’ policy. If you are working in France and are paying healthcare contributions via your employer you can also obtain a Carte Vitale.

If you are retired you are eligible for reciprocal cover from another European country, i.e. your former country will reimburse the French authorities for any healthcare costs. The Department of Work and Pensions’ website: gives detailed information.

Your ‘long term’ SI entitles you to registration under the French health system and your spouse or civil partner will be entitled to cover as your dependent, until the commencement of his/her own State Pension when he/she will be entitled to an SI in his/her own right. You are likely to be asked every year for proof that you are still in receipt of your state pension.  However, the cover for the dependent spouse or partner may cease on the death of the holder of the E121, unless other qualifying criteria are met at that time.

If you require any quotes we would recommend that you contact Nick Chubb from Asttral Insurance on or telephone 0468324120. He is English and will be able to guide you through the process of finding the right insurance cover for your circumstances.


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