Carte Vitale/ medical advice needed

I believe there was a recent EU directive stating the translations of EU documents should no longer be needed? Trying to find the link but cannot.

Thanks Christine,

I feel I'm back to square one now as I'll be employed in France but paying into the UK system by my national insurance contributions.

Hi Digby,

I don't really. As I understand it the S1 was to cover UK residents, who had not yet reached retirement age, moving to France for two years until they could sort out alternatives. From retirement if you are receiving a UK state pension you are then entitled to treatment under reciprocal agreements. As usual I think it has just been discontinued for cost saving without any thought of an alternative, not one that they offered us anyway. We received our S1 forms but decided not to register them because we should be entitled to care under the French system as my husband pays contributions through our business here. Sorry I can't be more help!

Hi Christine,

I was just beginning to think I had cracked this problem. Do you know what alternative arrangements will be in place?

Hi Digby, my husband and I applied for S1 forms recently and you should be aware that the S1 system is being discontinued early in 2015, so even if you get an S1 it will only be valid until January of February next year. My husband received his CV after about 8 months, but I am still waiting 18 months later despite frequent chasing, it really stretches your patience! Good luck!

Hi Heather Ward, When reading the NHS Choices website by following one of the links given earlier here, then following the links in that website for more information, when I clicked France the page included this

"Your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) will
enable you to access state provided healthcare in France at a reduced cost or
sometimes free. It will cover you for treatment until you return to the UK. It
also covers you for treatment of pre-existing medical conditions and for routine
maternity care, provided the reason for your visit is not specifically to give birth."

Since I don't think you went there specifically to give birth this seems to say the EHIC should have covered you. (Although the cop out would seem to be what do they mean by routine maternity care. After all if you're giving birth it's not like you can say or be told Stop this isn't routine.)

Yes Shirley, SFN is a fantastic resource. Thanks for your help.

Hello Digby,

Congrats firstly on your new job! Great advice given here and I can see that there are some much needed words of warning as well, especially as we all know health is at the top of everyone's list. Forewarned is forearmed and while you will have a S1 form and can claim back medical expenses 'eventually' you will still need to fork out up front for doctors appointments etc- approx 22 euros a consultation. My 2nd son was born in France and I was under the NHS at the time and I can tell you it was an arm and a leg job. So, unless the NHS is refunding at a faster rate that will be something you will need to factor in.

If this is a worry for you, perhaps check out private Health Ins. like BUPA for example, if anything for peace of mind. Otherwise, there is always a quick, cheap flight back to the UK.

I would also ask UK authorities about turn around times for reimbursement and just check about hospital operations, god forbid i know! but just in case - I'm not sure if these are covered automatically, i think so.

Otherwise best of luck, from one teacher to another.

Thanks for the link Brian.

Hi Courtney,

I have applied for the S1 so I am waiting expectantly. If I can take this and get a CV then I will be happy.

Hi Digby - Shirley below is talking great sense.

An EU directive on cross-border healthcare came into operation in 2013. Which see in this link from the NHS.

If you google 'EU cross border health care' a lot more will be revealed. The S1 will be of great use- You will need to take it to your nearest CPAM office as Shirley says. You can sign up with a local general doctor. You may or may not need a top-up mutuelle insurance. It could be that if your income is perceived to be low by CPAM they will place you on 100% cover, after all you will have zero income from France. The costs of any medical treatment will be transferred item by item back to the NHS on the back of the S1 and you will not be a charge on the French State. If CPAM will not put you on 100% you will need a top-up insurance - a mutuelle - but if you are relatively young this is not too expensive.

The French system provides for 'free treatment of everybody...nobody is left without necessary treatment' (even for holidaymakers etc- This is obviously only for urgencies and a limited period of time. Otherwise the NHS are responsible over a longer period. Contact them.

And given that it generally takes most folks 18 months to finally get a CV (even when in the system)... ;-)


From what I understand if you have an SI take it to CPAM and they will provide you a CV but its only valid for the period of the SI. When both expire (and assuming your go beyond the year) you take your new SI to CPAM and they re-set your original CV for the new period. Cheers.

Hmmm...I think you may need to speak with either someone at URSAFF (who deal with collecting 'cotisations' (French NI essentially.)

As you won't be employed in France, you won't be paying into the French system; therefore, they won't cover you.

The issue is that if you are in France over six months, you'll be considered resident and thus liable to French taxation. Some may be offset by UK taxes paid, some may not.

Just IMHO, you'll probably need to get private health insurance or have a fund to jet back to the UK for prescriptions/doctor appointments.

You won't get a CV nor a mutuelle (you need a CV to be able to top up.)

I think either a trip to URSAFF or an accountant is needed TBH.

Hi Shirley,

My employer is UK based and all deductions will be done in the UK. The school, as well as many others abroad, is run by them. They don't use a Mutuelle as I discussed my health care issue at my interview.

Thanks for all your help,


Thanks Shirley,

My contract is for a year. I have been in contact with the NHS at Newcastle for something called an S1 who in return referred me to HMRC who asked me to complete a CA8454 in order to apply for it. I think the S1 will allow me to claim back some of the cost from the UK but not all. The advice I got from the CPAM English helpline was that I would need to be employed with a French employer to qualify for the Carte Vitale.

I will certainly take over as much medication as I can to keep me going!