Advice on obtaining a CV

Hi all we have a house in the Averyon and are considering moving over permanently in the next few months. As we are early retirees 58 & 56 we will need a carte Vitale to access the french healthcare system. I am told that we have two options. Either become an AE or pay a monthly fee based on your private pension - can anyone offer any advice on this confusing subject?

On my way to becoming a Healthcare Cover expert for expats :)

Just closed 2 requests for similar requirements.

Depending on your exact situation there are different possible options.

I'd be delighted to assist. May I invite you to check out my website: ?

You can also email me at or call on 0033 673 568 120


Hi Gillian

Thanks for your reply - this is invaluable information for us. In other words, we have to confirm exit from the UK Healthcare system via DWP and then apply locally to our CPAM or via Nimes. Let's keep in touch if we can - many thanks - Austyn

Hi Austin, my husband and I are aged 54 and 55 and are early retirees also. I can only tell you our experience but if you look up discussions on my name you will find a huge amount of information from other contributors to my enquiry on the same subject. As I understand it, if you were to be employed here in France you would get your CV and pay contributions from earnings (much as you would in the UK, paying NI contributions). If you become an AE you pay a monthly fee based on turnover (not profit). I believe I saw something recently that said the French are planning to revise the AE status so you'd need to research that point. In our case we don't want to do either of those things as we came here to retire. We each have a small pension so we are able to support ourselves. It is possible to apply for your CV from the CPAM. We found the only option available was an application for CMU(B). It takes ages and you will have to provide an enormous amount of information on income, tax, birth, marriage etc probably over the past 3 years and you will need to obtain a letter from the DWP in Newcastle confirming you have exited the UK healthcare system. You would submit the application at your local CPAM office and with some luck (or you could try asking them) they will refer your application to the specialist office in NIMES. The cost for your CV in this system will be 8% of household income over a minimum threshold (circa 9k pa). Once you get that sorted out, you will need to investigate the 'top-up' insurance. I can't help with that as we are not quite there yet. In our case, we have had confirmation of our rights to affiliation into the scheme but the start date was retrospective and we have raised a query on that to which we await a response. Once this glitch is sorted out we expect to get our CV and then we start the search for the 'top-up' insurance. I hope this helps.

yep, just opposite the mairie and school, he's a nice bloke, got horses, helped my OH when she had a problem (horses), we're lucky we've got pretty much all the essentials in the village. We work in Carmaux so have all the rest there.

Hi Andrew

Thanks for the info - I hear that you have a good butcher in Mirandol?

You may find this information from the French Property News Letter informative:

Early Retirees Being Accepted for Health Cover

Tuesday 07 October 2014

Although it is a mixed picture, your e-mails indicate that many local health authorities are continuing to accept early retirees into the health system.

Access into the health system continues to be something of a game of chance for early retirees, with rule changes that have recently been introduced by the UK government, and with fresh information regularly becoming available about the stance of the French health authorities.

Whilst in in theory the door has been firmly shut to early retirees from the EEA with under 5 years residence in France, in practice the 5 year rule is not one that is universally being applied by the French local health authorities.

A number of you are reporting to us that you have been successful in your application to the Couverture Maladie Universelle (CMU), despite not having lived in France for at least 5 years.

Much of the explanation for the differences in treatment is due to the decentralised nature of health authority management in France, and to the discretion left to officials under the terms of the formal guidance.

Johanna Matthews of health partners Exclusive Healthcare comments that, "It is quite possible that the more sympathetic local health authorities and officials are making use of the wriggle room that the guidance grants them to breach the 5 year rule and allow affiliation to the CMU in individual cases."

A key factor in whether or not your application will be successful is likely to be the level of determination and proficiency you can demonstrate in the application process.

Making an Application

In order to obtain access to the CMU you need to make a formal application to your local health authority, the CPAM, using the form that is available for this purpose. You will need to ensure you enclose all the supporting documentary evidence.

Unless there are overwhelming medical criteria, you should make your application on the basis of 'condition de résidence stable et régulière', under Article L380-1 of the Code de la sécurité sociale.

This requires that you have lived in France for at least three months and that you have sufficient income and existing medical insurance that enables you to live in France legally.

In the absence of temporary S1 cover, now no longer available to early retirees, you will need to have a private health insurance policy in place, notwithstanding that it may have a forthcoming expiry date.

If you go on to the website of the CMU three months residence is all they continue to require; there is no reference at all to a 5 year residency rule, despite the fact that the law excluding economically inactive early retirees from the EEA has been in place since 2007.

As to discriminate in this way against those from the EEA is contrary to European regulations it is not surprising the French authorities do not wish to publicise it in such an overt manner.

Perhaps that is also why the administrative guidance issued to the local health authorities by the French government states that in order to avoid discrimination there must be a detailed examination on a case by case basis - 'un examen approfondi de la situation de la personne afin de concilier les conditions du droit au séjour et le principe de non-discrimination.'

Strictly speaking, under an agreement the EU Commission has reached with the French government, this 'case by case' examination should then be undertaken by a central processing centre at Nimes, Languedoc Roussillon, that has been set up to deal with early retiree applications.

Nevertheless, not all CPAMs seem to comply with this procedure as some applications are continuing to be assessed locally.

Clearly, if the local CPAM are sympathetic there is no need to change course, but if it appears they will reject your application you should insist it is referred on. Many of you appear to have been successful when the application has been considered by the Nimes centre.

Appeal Process

If you are refused affiliation to the CMU by the CPAM at Nimes, or your local CPAM, you must ensure you obtain their decision in writing, something to which you are legally entitled.

You then have two months to make an appeal to a local panel, called the Commission de Recours Amiable (CRA). You can use the following guidance from the EU as your grounds for appeal.

You are not required to attend the CRA hearing. The absence of a response from them within one month implies a rejection of your appeal, although in practice we are finding the process can drag on for longer, often with a successful outcome. Johanna Matthews says that, "It is taking time to get a reply from CPAM. In one recent case we saw, as much as 8 months, so it is imperative that you have in place some short-term comprehensive cover during this period."

If the CRA do reject your appeal, then within two months you can take the matter to the social security and health tribunal - the Tribunal des affaires de sécurité sociale (TASS). Some of you have done just this and before the court hearing has taken place the local health authority have conceded. We can only assume they had done so because they do not consider they have sufficient legal grounds to win the case.

Simultaneously with these steps, we also strongly recommend that you make a complaint to the EU Commission, which you can do so at EU Citizens Complaints. You can also e-mail to The EU are taking up complaints they receive, and although it may take months for a decision to appear, all the evidence we have received suggests they invariably get a result.

In short then, whether directly through the local CPAM, the central processing centre at Nimes, through a legal challenge, or a formal complaint to the European Commission, it is clear early retirees with under 5 years' residence can still obtain access to the French health system.

Do continue to write to me on this matter, as the information you provide is invaluable in helping us to arrive at an overall assessment of what is happening on the ground. You can contact me at

Related Reading:

European Commission Closes File on Health Cover

Friday 03 April 2015

Early retirees are now being admitted to the French health system, so the European Commission have withdrawn infringement proceedings against France.

As we reported in our Newsletter several months ago, the e-mails we have been getting from you indicate that most applications for access to the French health system by early retirees have been successful.

Few of you have been able to say that the process was quick or painless, but despite the time it may have taken, and the often initially obtuse response of local health authorites, the applications have been approved.

Some local offices do not appear to be forwarding the applications to the central processing centre in Nimes, but we are not aware that any processed by either the centre or locally have been refused.

That position now seems to be confirmed by the European Commission, who, in a statement to us say they have now withdrawn non-compliance proceedings:

"We can confirm that the Commission has closed the infringement that had been registered against France concerning access to the Couverture Maladie Universelle ("CMU") for non-active EU citizens residing in France.

The Commission's services are satisfied that the French authorities have changed their practice and now correctly apply the habitual residence test as set out in Regulation (EC) No 883/2004, when assessing applications by non-active EU citizens to join the CMU.

All requests by non-active citizens to join the CMU are now sent to a central administrative authority in Nîmes, France, in order to ensure that this policy is consistently applied.

The French legislation in fact stipulates that non-French citizens should demonstrate "regular" and effective residence in France . The Commission's services are satisfied that this requirement is now being interpreted in accordance with EU law.

Arguably, therefore, the European Commission is right to withdraw the infringement proceedings they commenced against France in 2012.

Except that, to our knowledge, whilst there may have been a change in administrative practice, there has been no change in the law.

Indeed, in response to a specific question from us on this point, the European Commission did not comment and it is noticeable their statement only refers to administrative practice.

  • I hope this helps.

not far away from us then (Mirandol/Carmaux). Not up to speed with the latest autoentrepreneur changes - I was an ae from the start (2009) but changed regimes in 2012 and a lot seems to have changed since. Best bet is to contact the CCI in Rodez if you need help, if not go down the internet registration route and try and chose something that doesn't need courses and registration (chambre de métiers) if that's still possible! I'm sure someone here's gone through the registration process recently - try posting in the auto entrepreneur group ;-)

Hi Andrew

Thanks for the reply. I am in between Najac and La Fouillade.The only problem with the AE route is that my french is not brilliant and certainly not up to a week's course! - Do you know if it is interactive or can you just sit there like a lemon and obtain your certifcate at the end of it?

Becoming an auto entrepreneur, or going into business under any regime, will get you into the system but auto entrepreneur is the only regime where you don't pay if you don't earn, you also pay far less than the mainstream regime - (I pay nearly 50%...!). You may need to register with the chambre de métiers and/or go on training courses to qualify/register as an autoentrerpreneur depending on what business you are offereing. Not all are possible under the regime either.

I can't comment on the other routes/how much you have to pay until you reach retirement age but I'm sure others here can't advise on that.

Where are you in the Aveyron?