EU or American

Hello everyone,

I am new to the group. I presently live in New Hampshire US and Mike and I plan to retire to France next spring. We are very excited and there is much to accomplish before then. I wonder if someone may be able to offer some advice. We went to the French Consulate yesterday in Boston and were told by our interviewer that she had no idea what to tell us and no one at the consulate would be able to answer our question...

So here it is... We are American citizens and have lived and worked in the US all of our lives. We hold duel citizenship. We have Irish citizenship through our parents and also hold an Irish passport. Our question is as EU citizens from Ireland can we get medical insurance in France? The rub seems to be since we worked in America we might not get insurance as Irish citizens. We now have a message in to the French embassy in Washington as well as the French consulate in Dublin and the Irish consulate in France. As EU citizens we do not have to get the Carte du Sejour but we need to be able to obtain medical insurance. If anyone has had this same experience or knows where we might go to get an answer I would be very appreciative



Thank you so much. So much to consider but we continue to be excited and continue to research so we may move ahead. Right now we are both 63. Plan to relocate at 64.

Any other comments are welcome


It is possible to obtain private insurance cover in France. I have a friend who is a U.S. citizen who obtained a policy. For family reasons she recently moved back to the States but I can try to contact her for more info.

Obtaining cover under the French National Health plan is more complicated. I am NO expert but as retirees I believe you and/or your husband would have had to have made significant national health insurance contributions in a country with which France has a reciprocal retiree health cover agreement.

Unfortunately, no such agreement exists with the U.S.

I also believe you can apply to be part of the French system after 5 years’ permanent residency or at any time if you are registered self-employed (and reporting income and making contributions) or you are automatically enrolled by working for a French enterprise.

Another tough decision is whether or not to make Medicare Part B contributions at age 65 or to continue to pay them if you are already 65. Part B doesn’t pay for anything in France but if you do not take it and plan at some point to go back to the States, your premium will be 10% higher for every year you did not enroll from age 65.

Hope this helps a bit. If parts of my reply are wrong, maybe it will get a dialogue going as it looks like up to now you’ve not had any replies.