2. Health Insurance in France
- Health Cover for Self-Employed
- Health Cover for Cross Border Workers
- Health Cover for Retired Persons
- Health Cover for Early Retirees
- European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)
- Travelling Abroad from France
2.1. Introduction - Health Insurance Cover in France
If you are proposing to relocate to France, then in order to be legally resident you are obliged to have health insurance cover.
Such cover may be obtained by a variety of different means.
For those who are an EEA (European Economic Area) national a certificate of health entitlement is in place to assist eligible individuals with free movement around the EEA.
The certificate means that you will get access to health care in France on the same terms as French nationals. You will not need to pay French social security health contributions.
These certificates of entitlement have been known as 'E' forms, but in May 2010 they were replaced by 'S' forms.
There are also 'A' forms covering cross-border workers and 'U' forms covering unemployed persons, sometimes used in conjunction with an 'S' form.
An S1 (formerly E106/E121) is also often issued to someone whose family relocates to France whilst they continue to work in the UK or other EU country.
The precise rules of eligibility of the S1 differ between countries within the EEA. This guide is written primarily for those arriving from the UK.
Whilst the UK has voted in a referendum to leave the EU, the S1 arrangements remain in place until they actually do leave and those who have an S1 will continue to be able to use them after Brexit.
For those who reach the age of retirement, and in receipt of a State Pension from their home country, S1 cover is on a permanent basis.
Those who are in employment or business in France automatically gain entry into the State health system.
Those on long-term incapacity benefit (ESA) under the age of retirement are entitled to make application for an S1.
Since 2015, early retirees from the UK are no longer eligible for an S1 certificate. We set out in later pages how you will need to get health cover in France.
The law regarding private health insurance is in a state of flux, but for those who are not able to enter the State system then it remains the only alternative.
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