Early retirees Carte Vitale

Having lived in France for over a year, it is time to sort out our CV's. We are both early retirees, 58 & 55. We have just sent off all of the necessary paperwork to the International centre in Nimes for processing.

I am told by numerous sources (some dubious!) that there will be a hefty charge as an early retiree to access the french health system plus of course the top up mutuelle. This will depend on your income from 2013 which relates to your tax return.

Are there any early retirees that are in a similar situation or can throw any light on the expected charges?


We had the same but got there eventually. Roughly 3 months from dossier going in to receiving CV-including requests for things already sent (sometimes more than once) but all you can do is go with the flow and provide what they ask for -even if it is for the 3rd time!

Originally we sent the file direct to Toulouse, they asked us to send it to Rodez (our regional HQ), they lost the file and after a recent meeting with them, they have now sent it direct to Nimes!

Emmm…the Carte Vitale is simply an automated payment / settlement card.

We have been here 5 years come January. We had a S1 for the first 2 years then got refused entry into cpam. Had a private insurance these last 3 years and have started the long road back into cpam.Filled all the forms out gave them to the local cpam Carhaix, now had two letters back asking for different things from Nimes.

Anyone looked at the latest immigration figures of people entering the UK? The real detail is the number of NI numbers issued......and I bet a lot quicker than the CV's over here. There was a comment re "you can't have it both ways!" If your entering the UK as a foreigner regardless of whether your from a EU member country you can and will receive it help both ways, don't really fancy living in Bulgaria or Romania right enough.....

One of the bits of paper in my application to CMU was the standard letter that the NHS will send you stating that you are no longer covered by them. This was recommended as a vital inclusion in the application.

As your opening sentence states, you have lived in France for over a year now, unless you have an S1 you should have left the NHS far behind a long time ago.
Just out of interest did you apply directly to Nimes or did you follow the normal route and apply through your local CPAM office?

Heck - talk about making a mountain out of a mole hill Austyn! As per Sue's initial reply to your post - it's easy to work out how much you'll need to pay to join the basic CMU - it's a simple calculation. Here's some more help for you: http://www.cmu.fr/cmu-de-base.php. You may even be eligible for non-contributory CMU if your household income is below certain levels - see this link : http://www.cmu.fr/cmu-complementaire.php

Austyn - you either live in France or you don't - pretty simple :-)

If you are tax resident in France then you have already severed links to the UK. You can't have it both ways!! Of course CPAM won't cover you if you don't have a letter saying the NHS are no longer responsible for your health cover-and if you live here permenantly then the NHS ISN'T responsible. If you choose not to get a letter from the NHS saying they are not responsible then the only way forward is for you to get private health care-which is hugely expensive as I know from experience.

Just a quick update - Nimes have now asked me for a declaration letter confirming that we have left the NHS. Of course, we are unable to produce this as we are not prepared to sever our UK links until we have a definitive answer from CPAM - furthermore, we really need to know the cost of entry before we can make this decision! - very frustrating

I think it's when you apply-not when it's completed. Hence my point about us having to pay cotisations for July, Aug. and Sept. even though we didn't actually receive our CV until 1st week in Oct but our dossier was sent in July. Therefore because it was accepted and we were allowed into the health service the payment was backdated.

When we applied in July we weren’t asked for 2013 tax returns, and it is only this month that they have been requested by Nimes. Assuming that it probably won’t be resolved until 2016 surely the 2013 Tax Returns are irrelevant? Or am I clutching at straws!

That would be very helpful Robert - thank you

I can give you a number to ring as English speakers, very help, I'm now an expert...faints....

Hi John

I first applied in April of this year and as discussed, the file was lost etc and I have only just re-applied. On the original application, they asked for the 2013 tax return. I suppose that as and when they reply, I could then question whether it should be the 2014 tax return?

Didn't notice the dates I'm afraid. The paperwork got lost so if the original claim was before Oct. then the request for 2013 tax retudn would be correct. They could try arguing that it's a new claim from Nov. and therefore only tax forms for 2014 should be used. However the French are a law onto themselves. We put our dossier in at the end of July and received our CV in the first week in Oct. However we had to pay our first tranche of cotisations to cover July,August and September because we had -in effect-been admitted to the French health system during that period.

That makes sense but Austyn claims to have just sent the paperwork off in late November. If they applied since 1st October the 2013 income should be irrelevant.

It depends when you apply. On the forms from Ameli -when you first apply-eg if you apply between Jan and Sept 2015 you have to use the tax return you filled in for 2013. If you apply between Oct and Dec 2015 you use the tax return for 2014. If you have not submitted a tax return before or only 1 then you use that. It's stated very plainly on the form that you fill in after downloading it from the Ameli website.

I thought that your due payment was based on the previous year’s income. As you didn’t have a CV in 2014 I would be surprised if the 2013 figures will be relevant. I have recently applied for cover through CMU from the 1st of January 2015 as my current cover ‘expires’ on December 31st. I supplied a copy of my tax demand based on my 2014 income and when they asked for a copy of the same for the previous year I pointed out that the 2015 tax return that I had filled out this year was my first in France and they were content with that.

We also had to provide 2013 details but fortunately our income doesn't change that much. But that will only be for the first year's cotisation thereafter you have to provide income details for each year ( the figure that you have entered on your tax forms) and they will then work out your cotisations for the year based on that. What you can do about the higher anticipated costs based on 2013 tax returns I don't know although I am sure that someone on here will kniw what to do or where to appeal.

You seem to have been unlucky with your office. I have to agree with Chris as well. Even though our was checked and agreed we had supplied evwrything we still got a request from Nimes for another copy of something (which they already had of course!)