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Retiring in France? Check your health insurance options

30th July 2010 Print

Moving to France is an exciting adventure. You just found the right property to retire and are ready to cross the Manche to live in France. Everything has been fixed but one thing needs to be clarified: your health insurance. In fact, the issue for health insurance is extremely different depending if you are moving temporary or permanently.

The French National Insurance “Caisse Primaire d’Assurance Maladie” is quite different from the National Health Service, NHS, in the UK. So If you are only receiving a UK state pension and wish to retire in France, you need to fill the form E106, only for people who won’t work in France, that will cover your medical expenses in France (or any other member state) by affiliation to its national health service. By asking this form to your DWP, Department of Work and Pensions, you should be able to get the French National Insurance coverage with a “carte vitale”, a green card with a microchip in which all your personal data regarding your health insurance are based. You will receive a reimbursement of approximately 70% of all your expenses, depending of the cases. But you will need to cover the 30% remaining of your expenses.

In addition, you will need to subscribe insurance towards a private company in order to be covered, but most of the time, it will be costly. You can take a health insurance locally in France or check in the United Kingdom for international health insurers. In fact, you might pay more with French insurances because you won’t have any history of insurance with them. So it is important to check with different insurance companies.

In this case, British health organisation might be able to help you. They will offer you lower rates that French health organisation might do. These British companies negotiate agreements with hospitals worldwide. BUPA International is one of these organizations. Created in 1947, they are well recognised by the industry. They offer worldwide health insurance that allows you to personalise your own plan cover depending on your needs and to add various options. With BUPA, British United Provident Association, the flexible international health insurance plan will offer you the best cover. You start by picking the worldwide medical insurance. This plan covers the standard treatments that you may need in a limit of £1,500,000 per year. You need to check what is not included in the plan in order to add the option that match the best with your requirements. For example, if you need to do a treatment with complementary therapies such as acupuncture or homeopathy, you will need to add the option “Worldwide Medical Plus Notes” to your core health insurance plan.

To sum up, in order to be covered for your medical expenses when you retire in France, you have two options:
- A State cover of 70% in France.
- Possibility of taking 100% cover with an insurance.

The above information has been provided by French property specialists, Sextant French Property.

To contact Sextant French Property, visit