Health cover advice please

Liz WRIGHT's picture

I stopped working as an agent commercial a couple of years ago and registered as an auto entrepreneur at the same time as changing departments. 


I thought that, through the URSAAF, health cover and pension was paid through my cotisations.


It turns out that I am still registered with the RSI in my old department for health cover, but they are now refusing to pay, as I haven't lived there for over a year.


I had my bag stolen earlier this year so no longer have a carte vitale.


I am moving again in a month's time. I've had such bad experiences with the RSI (the usual overcharging etc) that I am loathe to contact the RSI in my current department as I have nightmares about them sending me massive bills I can't/shouldn't pay.


I'll be travelling back and forth between France and the UK, so need some sort of cover for me and my son. Would an EHIC suffice?


Andrew Hearne's picture

No idea about the ehic but if you're an ae and paying the rsi through urssaf, they should provide you with a new carte vitale, it'll take months if not a year or so but you should get it or at least a replacement one. Yes all those bills that don't aply/don't have to be paid, don't you just love to hate the rsi...!

Liz WRIGHT's picture

Thanks Andrew. I've paid in to the system for nearly 20 years and I'm not looking to avoid paying - I will genuinely be out of the country with the occasional visit to France. My son will be visiting his father, so cover is more important for him. 

I am just not sure, that while I am paying my cotisations to URSAAF, that they have been paying the RSI or if I should have contacted them seperately - I'd assumed that it was the same as when I was micro years ago, when everything was paid through the URSAAF.

Andrew Hearne's picture

I can reasure you that urssaf do the lot - I've been an AE since 2009 and started in the Cantal (Auvergne), then moved back to the Aveyron (Midi-Pyrénées), moved the business to a little place in the Hérault (Languedoc) and have just moved back to the Aveyron again. 4 departément changes each involving a change in région too. Never had to pay anything direct to the rsi although as you said they certainly try to confuse you with a host of bills that don't have to be paid! Carte vitale has always worked although it took a year to transfer from the cpam one/to get my rsi one. Once you've got one, don't ever let it go! (unless you're leaving France for good that is) I'd try for a replacement - you should have received the paper attestation with the carte vitale - that's proof of your entitlement and should guarantee a replacement card...

Bonne chance ;-)

Liz WRIGHT's picture

Thanks, that's great Andrew - I am reassured. I just managed to get through to the URSAAF and they told me that it's automatic and to contact the RSI for a new card.

Andrew Hearne's picture

Excellent! ;-)

Robin Hicks's picture

EHIC is fine for emergencies - but that is all.  RSI - yes a nightmare indeed

Paul O'Sullivan's picture

For those with a UK EHIC, you can buy a temporary top up with Exclusive Healthcare which virtually covers what a French resident would buy as a Mutuelle. EHIC covers what you would receive as a resident of that State and therefore in France you only get max 70% in most cases. EHIC also does not cover repatriation which is why they (UK Government) recommend you also have travel insurance - problem with that is pre-existing medical exclusions and possible maximum age issues. A number of people I know buy the temporary Exclusive top up to negate these factors.

Hilary Decaumont's picture

If anyone is looking to take on the RSI, I have made a brilliant contact through the Normandy Business Group ( a group set up to encourage social networking for businesses in Normandy). It's a French chap who just loves taking these authorities on - the more they say no, the more he enjoys it. Strange, but there you go :) And he gets results. Feel free to pm me for his details.

Barbara Deane's picture

Yes please I need someone to help me with RSI.

That would be great.

Thank you.

Robin Hicks's picture

Paul - I thought the EHIC was only to cover emergency treatment and not meant to give the same cover as a resident.

Paul O'Sullivan's picture

Hi Robin - the term they use is "medically necessary" as opposed to emergency. I know what they do try to stop however (and it has been tried) is people coming ove here for knee and hip ops to avoid UK waiting lists - hard to say you needed a hip op while on a two week break in Paris !

 

Robin Hicks's picture

Thanks Paul - Now I know!!

elaine brett's picture

Paul just took a look at 'Exclusive Healthcare' they seem very reasonable and flexible to an individuals needs - has any of your friends used there cover and did they find it okay?  thank you for the link.

Paul O'Sullivan's picture

Hi Elaine, I have my annual "mutuelle" policy with them and no complaints. UK staff and UK helpline to explain system here. Friends from the UK did buy the EHIC top up and made a claim for some treatment they needed - paid out without a problem.

elaine brett's picture

thanks paul -)

sandra adams's picture

Dear Paul, can you tell me more about Exclusive Healthcare, have you an e-mail address or telephone number for them.Regards Sandra Adams 

Paul O'Sullivan's picture

Hi Sandra, they can be found at www.exclusivehealthcare.com or can be called on 04 94 40 31 45

Liz WRIGHT's picture

Thanks for all the useful info in your replies. I'd rather try to get a replacement for my carte vitale, seeing as I have paid my cotisations. I think they pay up to a year after you finish working, so it should cover me until next year. 

Kevin Chaplin's picture

You get the EHIC from the country where you live. The NHS EHIC is only available to UK residents. You will need to pay some up front costs if you have treatment in France, but they can be reclaimed (if the treatment would have been covered by the NHS) from DWP when back in the UK. They will send a claim pack to your UK address. They won't guarantee anything in advance, but say they "normally refund the full cost". If you live in France and are registered, presumably it's CPAM, or whichever other plan applies, who will issue the EHIC.

Liz WRIGHT's picture

Thanks Kevin. It doesn't really help that I don't know where I'm going to be and for how long yet. So I oculd be in the UK for three months and then back here permanently. 

Ian Swan's picture

Dear Liz Every person has different circumstances to resolve but you could get some help by contacting www.amariz.fr. For 20 years this company has been providing people who live in France with an insurance that reimburses their medical bills in accordance with the "base de remboursement". The site is bilingual as are the staff and they insure a good number of expatriates. The insurance cover is provided by Lloyd's of London. I hope that this information will help you. Best wishes Ian Swan