Free Health Care

Hello. I have just heard about free health care (as per available in the UK since 5th April 2015) for pensioners living in France. I am one such person and have a large hospital bill to pay plus aftercare nurses and drugs bills. Can anyone advise on how to get the UK to pay these for me?

Thanks in advance.

Irene these changes came into force on the 6th April, but it seems that no one has worked through just how it will work in practice, or if they have they haven’t managed to make these changes easily known or understood.
I am trying to clarify matters, but the infirmation I am receiving from the Overseas Health Team at the DOH does not clarify things. I will keep trying to get clarification on just how we can access this NHS treatment.

Yes, on line then I say … What a load of rubbish. But when I read something however badly written and it effect me personally I take notice and start to worry if it’s correct. My wife say that my worrying won’t change anything!
Do you think changes are afoot re the health and people with an S1?

I have been watching another discussion elsewhere and they show an updated link to an article here written today , I just hope they have their facts wrong.
It says …
Health officials said guidelines on NHS charges will be issued this week along with consultation on tightening the rules for visitors

It is the same health care as the French receive and this is paid for by the UK government.
You are right that we receive 70 per cent via the Carte Vital, unless you have one of the conditions ADL, long lasting conditions as specified on
You do have to make the decision on whether to take out a Mutuelle or to act as ypur own insurer.
UK retirees with an S1 Re now entitled to use the NHS in UK, but I am having a real problem finding out how to access this and all the wrinkles. The main NHS website is still saying that we need an S2.

Yes, but this article I think explains it better surprisingly in the Daily Mail online.

I can’t disagree with why these new rules are coming in as they have to stop the drain on the NHS of immigrants just using them as a free ride having paid no contributions.

Here at…

It says However, pensioners from the UK who live abroad for more than half the year will be denied free treatment.

No matter how much they have paid in tax and National Insurance over the years, such expatriates will now have to pay for NHS care back in Britain.

Only treatment for emergencies - such as heart attacks, accidents or sudden illness - will still be free.

The move will hit thousands who have retired to the Spanish cyostas, France or other European countries.

Under existing rules, pensioners are only supposed to spend up to three months abroad to qualify for free NHS care. But officials did not vigorously apply this rule.

Under the ‘health tourism’ clampdown, thousands of expat pensioners will find themselves being quizzed on their eligibility.

The Department of Health said it had made one concession - that pensioners who return to the UK ‘to spend their final years’ will still be eligible for free care.

But pensioners who spend more than three months outside the EU - in countries such as Canada, America or Australia - will find they become ineligible.

But here on the NHS site that states from April UK state pensioners who live elsewhere in the EEA will now have the same rights to NHS care as people who live in England. This applies to all pensioners who receive a UK state retirement pension and registered for healthcare in Europe with an S1 form.…

I would like to correct Jane Williamsons statement I quote< There has always been free health care, as it is provided in France for people living here in receipt of a state pension and the form S1. >
No it is NOT free, a French resident adopts the hat of a Frenchman, having an S1 allows a carte vital yes, but only ( I stand corrected here on the % ) 70% come from your S1, therefore as the French do you either pay a mutual to top up the 30% or you pay it out of your own pocket. This is really a topic unto itself.
Please Jane this is not a personal slight it is just so that a newbie pensioner thinking of moving to France does not presume all is free as a number of people we have met over the 13 years we have lived here have thought that once they reach pension age ALL is free, how dissapointed they were!!

Alan, are you a pensioner living in France who has received French health care,, is that what you are saying ? If so, if you are living in France and in receipt of your British state pension, then you apply to Newcastle for an S1 and you will be covered for health care in France. It will take a couple of months to come through..but you will be covered.

I am still waiting for a reply from the Deartment of Health as to how exactly how retirees in possession of Form S1 will actually access NHS treatment in the UK.

I think it refers to planned as opposed to emergency treatment..with planned treatment you will be billed or your country of residence will be billed if you are in the system..

But the sentence before that says UK pensioners holding a valid S1 will qualify for treatment in the UK.I suspect the quote given refers to early retires- although it's not that clear.

I agree ..I posted that for information in case anyone hadnt realised the times are changing..I have no idea why expats living in France want to use the NHS when the French health service is so good..

I don't see that anyone if being 'left in the lurch' If you are a permenant resident in France you either -a)try to join the the french health service or b) have private health insurance or c) work in France. At present we have private health insurance-which also covers us for treatment in any european country including the UK. We knew we would have to pay for health care as we are early retirees not eligable for an S1. Having been here 4 years we are in the precess of applying to CPAM for registration with the french health service. Am I naive in not seeing where the problem lies?

There has always been free health care, as it is provided in France, for people living here and in receipt of a State pension and the form S1. This comes in the form of a Carte Vitale.

The UK pays for our care in an arrangement with the French government, there is a tallying up at the end of each year.

Did you not apply for a form S1 when you left the UK?