CPAM and private health insurance while waiting

Just a question (that I think I know the answer to, already…):
I just wonder if anyone who is a US expat has had to sign up for private health insurance, while waiting for their CPAM documents to be submitted.

My husband is registered in France as an auto-entrepreneur and has his carte vitale. I’m not allowed to be added to this; I think it used to be allowed years ago, but now a spouse is not allowed to do so.

So, I’ve been applying for a carte vitale on my own. I’m in process, just had a meeting with CPAM. Now I just need one document that must be sent from the US and will take about 3 weeks to receive (the birth certificate with apostille, which, by the way, one can order via http://www.vitalchek.com according to the Bordeaux branch of the US embassy).

In the meantime, my current health insurance for France, expires.

So, I guess this means that I need to sign up for international (non-US) health insurance, in addition to the comprehensive health insurance policy I must maintain in the US. So, I’ll be paying about $240 per month more for this. It looks like the contract is for a year. I’m rather hoping that I won’t have to pay for private health insurance for the remainder of the year after I’ve received the carte vitale…

I do have to have private health insurance in France in addition to the US health insurance; and I have always had this… But Fabian Pelissier indicated that I can’t renew the current Shengen health insurance after it expires (today), which I’d had for my first year here … That cost all of 450 euros for the entire year.

If anyone has a suggestion, great. Otherwise, this topic is more of a comment about my own process as an American expat. Perhaps it’ll be useful to someone; perhaps someone could recommend an alternative to paying the additional money and signing a year-long contract. I don’t hold out a lot of hope for the latter; just another price one pays for having such a wonderful opportunity to live in France and with a loving husband (who is teaching me Yorkshire English… yikes).

Cheers.