Advice re S1

Just wondered if anyone could advise me. Hubby and I are covered for healthcare in France with an S1..he is retired,no problems. My Mum who is 81 and lives in England is seriously considering coming to live with us but needs to know she will be covered for healthcare. She only has a basic state £271 per month. I, ve rang newcastle pensions dept to ask if this is enough to qualify her for an S1 but he said he couldn, t tell me as he just sends the forms, s up to the government to decide. Is there anyone retired in France who only has a little pension yet managed to qualify for an S1 ? Would appreciate your advice, obviously if my Mum doesn, t qualify then she won, t be able to come and live with us.

Hi Bob, I did originally ask the overseas pension dept if my Mum could be added on to my husbands S1 as a dependant and she thought the answer was no, forgot to ask again today, maybe I will do that.

Hi Jane

Naughty of Newcastle not to give you the help you require, perhaps send them an email explaining your situation.

Any way, I retired early and my Carte Vitale ran out in Jan this year. Newcastle just issued another S1 for my wife, with me as a dependant. As soon as the attestation comes in the post, I can go to a Pharmacie and have my CV reinstated. Next year when my wifes S1 runs out, and at the same time I reach state pension age, she can be a dependant of mine and continue with her CV.

So with that in mind, if you ask Newcastle to make your mum a dependant of either you or your OH this should be problem solved.

Good Luck


This is an old thread but is exactly what I want so why start a new one?

As a frontalier my S1’s are done by HMRC and last a year. I’ve just renewed one starting September, so my form has a start and expiry date 31 August 2022.

However madame’s form (dependent non-working) doesn’t have a start or expiry date - wheras her last form did. I thought oh no is this a cock up? Then it just occurred to me maybe it doesn’t expire? - she will be 66 in August 22 and hence be eligible to have the S1 from the state pension?

So what I was wondering is, do the S1’s issued with the state pension have start or expiry dates? I’d presume they aren’t set for a year, if there’s like 3 million of them?

All comments, thoughts , advice greatfully received before getting on the CPAM helpline Monday and going down the CPAM to lodge the (hopefully valid) S1’s.

OH’s doesn’t have an end date….and neither does mine as his dependent. We’ve only ever each had one, which we handed over to CPAM (taking copies first of course) and that was the end of it. Our attestations online are rolling, so always for 12 months ahead.

Yes - I had a time-limited S1 when first in France that expired (9 years ago). Now I’ve just passed UK retirement age and they’ve sent me an indefinite one.

What I don’t know is what to do with it. I’m fully in the French system for healthcare etc (as a family member of a French business owner). Is there any advantage to switching from this to S1 status?

Thanks - more reassured! sounds like she’s now indefinite! Hopefully the lack of a start date as well as an end date on the form won’t throw any spanners!

@Geof_Cox - as S1 holders with the insurance cover paid by the UK (my employment has NI paid in UK) we won’t pay the French social charges on pensions, so as you have a pension (?) its taxable, but not liable to social charges. It may not make a difference if its not a big amount of pension, but worth doing the calculation?


Just to confirm what others have said - my S1, as I’m over State pension age, has no end date on it but I can’t put my hand on it at the moment so can’t check the start date. When my partner decided to become a dependent, having been briefly in the French system, we asked DWP for a dependent’s S1 for him as he has a few years to go until he gets his own. It took a while for CPAM to process the change but it was fine.

@Geof_Cox My partner wasn’t in the French system long enough to build up much of a pension there so, for us, switching him to S1 was definitely advantageous. I understand there may be difficulties using the S! when you are already in the French system but certainly there has been no problem so far for my partner

I don’t think you can choose between French and S1 status. I think you have to show the CPAM your S1 and let them decide. If it came out later you might have a big problem.
With S1 status you wouldn’t get the French international health card. This means that when you are out of France the CPAM won’t reimburse any health bills, and your mutuelle would therefore not top up your costs. The British card would only pay what the local national insurance in the country you’re in would pay, and the mutuelle wouldn’t want to know.

As far as I know if you have been paying contributions into the french system then France becomes your competent state, and you shouldn’t get an S1 when you hit UK state pension age. Strange that you did as you usually have to ask for it and they check eligibility.I believe that it is the last country where you made pension contributions that takes precedence automatically.

Which is a potential issue for people who just work a year or so here, as you loose the exemption on social charges on your UK pensions.

That’s more or less what my partner did a couple of years back, Jane but Covid hit the business and he earned hardly anything so got a dependent’s S1 based on mine. Both DWP and CPAM were happy to accept the arrangement so I’m not sure whether there might be repercussions later? Because of the low income, he made hardly any pension contributions into the french syste, :thinking:

I am confused :slight_smile: I am 56 and retired (effectively), currently have private health insurance due to a complication with a pension transfer. I will join the French health system once the pension issue is resolved. My understanding was that I would still qualify for an S1 at 67 but that my pension (state and private) would still incur social charges when taken and declared ?

Well once OH received his state pension he stopped having to pay social charges on his private pension that he had already started receiving as well as the state pension. (They messed up the first year, which we are still trying to get back, but since then it’s worked fine).

1 Like

For the holder of an S1… I seem to recall there is a place on the French Declaration of Worldwide Income… where, one states/marks/ticks… that one’s health is the responsibility of another country (something like that…)
The result of this is that the French social charges will not be applied on UK pension.

or am I completely off my rocker… (always a possibility… :rofl:)

1 Like

Last year it was boxes 8SH and 8SI you had to tick to get the exoneration. If you don’t tick them, you don’t get it?

I’m reporting back, the english speaking CPAM helpline person said yes, with no dates on the form it was permanent and because Mmme would be 66 after my expiry date of a year. Seemed to know all about it! Made a RDV for us (well at least me?) Friday at CPAM to take them. Champagne on ice… Edit - Woohoo!

Ha ha, also chivied me on getting a mutuelle (it’s also the hospital costs sir!) and get a M.T. On the ball.

Jane beat me to it, yes box 8SH, I have a picture from the guides from 2020-21 posted by Graham without an e.


There isn’t one on the paper form, I wrote it on the form!

1 Like

Well done… now just some pointers…

Make sure you take copies of ANY documents you give to CPAM… (they have been known to lose them…)

@fabien is the tried and trusted person to contact for all Insurance matters…

Use him myself and no hesitation in recommending him.

and, yes… do get yourself linked with a doctor asap…

cheers !!!

1 Like

Getting an MT saves money and hassle, as unless you have registered one you pay more! Most of them can do it from their desk mow, no need to fill in forms and take them to CPAM.

As for the mutuelle, do be aware that you have options. A lot of French people have a good mutuelle paid for by their employers so it is unthinkable that one can live without one!

Many people go for the maximum and get 300% cover including dental, optical and complementary medicine - which can come at a cost. At the other end of the scale there is the option of just getting hospital cover, so you are protected from the risk of huge hospital bills but pay the contribution for everything else yourself. We are relatively healthy*, teeth and eyes fine, so this is what we do. And so far it has cost us over €1,000 less a year than the full works cover would have done, so we have a nest egg building up nicely. It is a personal choice, but one that is yours to make.

And if you have a low income there is a free, or nearly free mutuelle paid for by the State.

(*because I have a specific disease some of my costs are covered 100% - but the rest of me is healthy…)

Just a warning, @larkswood12 about declaring an MT. The doctor has a different access to the online CPAM system from us punters but my partner had to have a couple of goes with her to get her registered as his MT. (Bless her, she also gave him a signed paper form to take to CPAM in case the second go didn’t work!)

The problem turned out to be that, although CPAM had accepted the S1 fine, any change in regime such as moving from French system to CPAM or dependency to non-dependency can be registered in the system but not fully implemented for a while. I understand that there is to-ing and fro-ing between CPAM and DWP which isn’t always speedy. However, everything gets there is the end so well done getting it done :clap:

Thanks everyone for Mutuelle / MT / CPAM advice. They just called actually to ask what we wanted a RDV about - so seemed happy when I said I wanted to assure all was fine with the forms.

Anyone who wants to give any more advice welcome! The thing is we’ll be relocating in France shortly (exploring where to settle on the south coast) so wanted to get the S1 extensions in place before then, and it took until June even for the CV’s to arrive. So choosing a MT will now best be left until after we find our next place.

For the mutuelle, Mme has osteo-arthiritus diagnosed in the UK last year, and often goes there to visit her mum. So need to consider to what extent the mutuelle should extend - and whether she wants to have it treated n France etc etc. Agree need hospital cover I’ve just been waiting for her. With S1’s a benefit (?) is you can get the healthcare in the UK also! (If you can make it, I know…)

Is osteo-arthiritus an ALD? I saw rhumatoid was, but understand it’s up to the doc to decide degree of affliction - milder cases won’t be?

And when changing address, I’m presuming we don’t have to get new S1’s with a new address.

CPAM change of circumstances - when Mme is 66 I might finish work and piggy back on her pension S1 - reversal of dependencies. I’d like to continue as fairly part time but not sure how that will play with HMRC’s definitions of frontalier!