If you are proposing to retire or to look for work in France, for those living within a country in the EEA (European Economic Area) a certificate of health entitlement is in place to assist with free movement around the EEA.
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.
The Form 'S1' (formerly E106/E121) is a certificate of entitlement to health care in another EEA country, provided via the social security authority in your home country.
The form means that you will get access to health care in France on the same terms as French nationals, except that you will not need to pay French social security health contributions for the duration of the S1.
When you arrive in France you need to present the form to your local Caisse Primaire d’Assurance Maladie (CPAM), the health authority.
If you enter employment/business the S1 ceases to be valid, and you will be required to pay social security health contributions.
An S1 Form 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 may well still be in place after Brexit. It will depend on the terms of that departure.
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.
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.
Those on long-term incapacity benefit under the age of retirement are entitled to make application for an S1.
If you would like to receive regular information on French health matters, buying French property and living in France, then why not register to receive free of charge each month our popular Newsletter.