CPAM & PH Insurance while waiting (Info for Americans)

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 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 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).


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Hi, just to update: I sent in the application via a meeting (actually a couple of meetings, the second one was mid- October) with a counselor from CPAM and submitted my documents at the meetings. As I mentioned above I had to have a birth certificate and apostille from the US, then had it translated to french.

The appointment was made via the Securite Sociale office in Angouleme. I received a provisional document via the mail, valid for up to a year pending receipt of the actual carte vitale.

On December 24 the carte vitale arrived in the mail. Yay! If anyone is interested, I can give the list of documents they’d required and can answer questions anyone from the US might have in regard to the process as I experienced it. I still haven’t decided what mutuelle to purchase as additional top-up. I think I’ll want to have it, but not sure I’m required to have it…

As a side note: I have not yet received the carte de sejour for which I’d applied; but I have a six-month provisional document attesting that it’s in process. I’ve not tried to set up an account for my medical documents via the DMP website with this provisional documentation, but I’ll look into it and if I have any success I’ll update this thread with my experience.



Well done for persevering and for doing so in a way that is totally, verifiably free of gripe. And Happy New to you and your own dear Yorkie man :hugs::smiley:

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Great news @MaryW It is so useful, hearing about “personal experiences” like yours. :hugs:

I’ve edited your Title to this thread, for other Americans needing help in the future … hope you don’t mind… :thinking:

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