Coverage for first three months

Recently asked a question about SMIC and now it’s the turn of healthcare.
So, we are probably (wife and myself) being offered a job both working for a family in the South. The two of us are currently employed in the UK and both have EHIC cards for visiting France. I understand that we will be cast into the French healthcare system and eligible for a carte vitale but not before three months of residency and work. But what do we do for the first 90days even though we will be paying into the French coffers? Do we have to double dip and get private cover for 90 days? The main issue is that my wife has an anti-imflammatory disease requiring an expensive biologic medication on prescription. This is issued on a month by month basis and she will be unlikely to be offerd three to four months worth by the NHS. Also, getting private cover with such a pre-condition is unlikely. As soon as we are working in France for a French employer the EHIC will no longer be valid and would I guess neither cover prescriptions if it was.
Anyone been in this position?

No - this only applies to inactifs. The rules for obtaining healthcare are different according to your status in France.

If have “worker” status, your health cover starts from the start date of your employment contract. In practice it may take a while to get the paperwork sorted but you’ll be able to claim reimbursement for any expenses incurred after that date. Your employer also has to arrange some kind of mutuelle cover (I think - it’s a newish obligation).

It’s only people who move here as inactifs/early retirees , that have to qualify for healthcare on the grounds of residency which basically means living here for 3 months.

Hope this sets your mind at rest!
"l’affiliation sur critère d’activité professionnelle est acquise dès la première heure travaillée"

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Thanks Anna, that makes us breath easier. I found it hard to believe otherwise but all the information I came across was ambiguous or stated a three month wait. The link was great. Thanks again.

It’s always been the case and it hasn’t changed. What keeps changing is the rules for inactifs (over the last decade they’ve been covered/then not covered/then covered in theory but in practice with some reluctance/and now, finally, covered provided they meet certain clearly defined criteria) so that’s what most of the discussion and information you see tends to be centred on. There’s never been any issue over workers being covered, it’s EU rules.

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as soon as you are working yout entitled to health cover here. the catre vitale has a dedicated english helpline who over the months have been most helpful to many british people starting work here.

I moved over with an AI disease requiring biologics. The issue was not the initial 3 months (which as others have said doesn’t matter for you/wife) as my rheumatologist in the UK gave me a 3 month prescription as a special case bless her, but getting into a rheumatologist here. There was a seven month waiting list… I really do suggest you start booking an appointment asap!

Unlike UK, you book specialist appointments yourself here rather than being referred. So you find one, phone them up, and book an appointment. I did manage to persuade my médecin traitant to prescribe while I was waiting, and the necessary blood tests, but I’m not sure all will do that without instruction from a consultant.

Maybe it depends? Certainly médecin traitants do sometimes refer patients to a specialist after a consultation with the MT, and I believe it’s also sometimes the case that you get a higher level of state reimbursement for consultations with a specialist that you’ve been referred to by your MT, rather than one you approached yourself. But certainly you don’t need to be referred, you can choose any specialist and contact them, just like you can make an appointment with any doctor, you don’t have to always use your MT (though again you get a higher reimbursement when you do).

Thanks so much for the info. Jackie needs an Opthalmologist which I also
believe creats a waiting problem and one who specialises in a specific rare
disease. There is one in Marseille so as soon as we get comfirmation about
the job we will book an appointment.

Yes the médecin traitant can/does refer, and it does affect price, but they don’t make the appointment for you! It can come as a surprise to people used to UK system. So you can do it in reverse if the specialism you need is one that is in short supply. I’m also fussy about my specialists, so wanted to choose myself.

You can book appointment, and they often ask for the name of MT, and then when you finally get close to appointment you ask MT to write the referral letter

(Just realised that confusion probably caused by using word referral - different meanings in different contexts!)

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Of course, it depends on how important your need…how quickly you want to be seen by the Specialist. Personally, we have always gone through our Médecin Traitent.

We have had 2 situations, where our MT has phoned the Specialist (while we waited) to make an appointmet for my OH. First time was re Cancer and second time was re Deep Vein Thrombosis.

Swift action on everyone’s part… saved the day…and possibly his life. :hugs:

Yes I’ve found my MT is more proactive in acute situations (although she always leaves it to me to make the phone call even if she’s given me the name and number). It’s the chronic conditions that can be slower to organise, especially if you happen to be in a medical dessert. No doubt if you happen to live in Lyon or Paris or another major centre that is well served it is also easier.

Just wanting to share my experience of moving to France with a chronic condition where pre-preparation would have made my life easier - since this seemed to be part of the OP’s question.

Hi Jane… when it was about Cancer… our Doc phoned the specialist direct and then discussed “soonest” dates with him and us… it was so kind of him.

I think he realized we were a bit in shock and needed a helping hand (especially as we are not native French).

We live in what is becoming a medical desert. Our Doc is doing his best to encourage young Trainee Doctors to discover the merits of being a General Practitioner in the countryside…he often has one or more “working” alongside him.

It’s lovely when people go out of their way to be kind to newcomers isn’t it…always makes me feel so positive.

The figures for declining numbers of french GPs and specialist outside the big cities are increasingly scary. One diasadvantage of not having the NHS overseeing provision.