Do I need Health Insurance if we live in France for 6months of year?

My Husband and I have a property in France (2006 purchased) and upon my retirement in Spring we hope to spend 6 mths in France and 6mths in UK each year. We assume we will need some sort of health insurance to cover us whilst we spend our time in France but wonder if anyone has had any experience or could give some advice to help us make the transition.

It seems a nice idea moving to France, one which we are both very keen and excited about but there are obviously many questions which I am sure some of you who have lived in France will have a wealth of experience to share. Many thanks in anticipation of responses.


Hi Debra - not sure really, perhaps May/June to Oct/Nov - my husband loves fishing here in Uk so winters here probably. Ideally, we feel we need to experience living in France for more than a holiday, to judge whether we want to make it a permanent home or not.

Thanks David for your further information

, I currently work in the NHS so I understand this can be the case. We would not be classed as UK pensioners yet as we are retiring on private pensions.

From the document you quoted last

UK pensioners living abroad for part of the year
Eligible to full NHS entitlement;
• Pensioners who remain ordinarily resident in the UK, but
take long holidays abroad
• Pensioners receiving UK retirement pension who live in the
UK for at least 6 months and in another EEA member State
for less than 6 months each year and who are not registered
as a resident of another member State.
• A spouse or child (under the age of 16, or 19 if in further
education) of these patients who lives on a permanent basis
with the overseas visitor during the period of residence in
the UK.

There is no cross registration as far as I know between entry and exit from the UK and the records of the NHS .

One could remain registered with one's GP and disappear for years without the NHS being aware of it. I think I saw my doctor about once in twenty five years. One's registration is never checked except probably on decease (and even that's unlikely).

Thanks Dave. Your info was very useful.

You don't intend to be resident in France so in effect your stay in France is no more than an extended holiday. Therefore you should be covered for basic health care by an EHIC card obtainable from the NHS see

However this will not cover the cost of repatriation should you suffer from a serious incident. To insure against this you should explore suitable travel insurance which should be relatively cheap in UK.