Getting a Carte Vitale

(Hilary Jane Dunk) #41

Well, I too, have found that getting a Carte Vitale is not straight-forward....and I am perplexed, as I prepared really well, for the visit to my local Cpam.

I did the research via collecting info from this site, as well as Amelie....

Got my birth certificate translated by an official translator, passport photocopy verified by my bank manager, photocopied payslips & P60 re my occupational pension income (which is over the threshold, thankfully) and a covering letter in French & English explaining when I would be recieving my state pension and how much that would be, evidence of the purchase and ownership of my house, and an energie bill from 2015 (which shows my prelevements for Gaz into 2016) - and photocopied my EHIC card (valid until the midle of 2017), filled in all the CPAM forms correctly and handed it all in to Bergerac CPAM without any fuss. ...

I was told that it would be sent away and that I would hear in about 10 days. I then asked for a reciept which I got and I also asked whether I could now go ahead and apply to a mutuale to get top up insurance. The answer to that was 'no, you will have to wait for the Carte Vitale.

HOWEVER, I have recieved a response from L'Assurance Maladie Dordogne (with all my paperwork returned) in the last couple of days, that asks me for 'un imprime S1 delivre par les autorites britanniques et des justificatifs de domicile pourles 3 mois qui precedent votre demande d'affiliation....'

The maire of my commune lives just a few doors down from me, so I will be asking his advice (perhaps he may be able to verify that I am and have been continually in residence since the beginning of the year), so I will be asking his advice, but I would appreciate some feed back via the SFN forum on this....

I thought that with the new regime re health from Jan 1st this year in France, that this business with the S1 form would be defunct ( in fact I was told by DWP, before I came over to France and before I came to settle and relinquish my temporary UK base, that they would not be issuing any more)...also do I need to produce more than one utility bill, as evidence of my needing and using energy to live in my house ?

(Debra Archer) #42

The way to get around having no bills in your name is to get someone to do an 'attestation sur l'honneur' that you are stably resident. Do you have someone who can do that for you?

(Debra Archer) #43

The UK don't issue residual S1s anymore but there are other reasons you can be entitled to an S1. The French simply need a letter from Newcastle which confirms that you are not entitled to one at this time. This is standard practice and even used to be required at the end of the residual S1 period in the past.

Re the utility bills - they need proof that you have actually been resident and they need to see actual electricity or gas usage to prove this. If you have a landline they may accept telephone bills showing that the line has been used. Did you print off a 'justificat de domicile' from your electricity account? It doesn't show actual usage but along with the statement, may be enough. Otherwise if they don't accept that or telephone bills, you might be able to get your electricity or gas company to send out a bill showing your usage to date? Failing that, the only other proof I can think of is bank statements which show purchases in France for that period.

You do have to produce bills showing usage for the period for which you are claiming to have been resident. For instance, a couple of years ago I needed to join the CMU because my previous method of cover had ended, due to a change in circumstances. I didn't have enough income to be classed as self sufficient so I had to prove my right of permanent residence, having been here for more than five years. To prove that I'd been legally resident for those five years I had to provide all the electricity bills for those five years and certificates de scolarite for my children to prove they'd been in school all that time as well as tax returns to prove that my income level had been enough for us to be self sufficient.

(Debra Archer) #44

If you really can't get the standard proof of residence in the form of utility bills showing consumption, they should accept an attestation from the maire that you have been living there during the relevant three months.

(Debra Archer) #45

Just a thought but how close is the payment of your OAP? If it's close, they may be expecting you to wait for your S1 to arrive along with that.

(Hilary Jane Dunk) #46

Thanks for all this input to my carte vitale problem Debra.....

I thought the Energie statement with my prelevements for gaz (my main bill and quite high) would suffice.

I suspect whoever 'processed ' my docs in Perigieux, has been quite lazy and not read through properly what I had submitted (the lady who checked my submission in Bergerac, didn't mention the S1 at all, and seemed quite impressed that I had virtually organised my own 'dossier') and I attached covering letters explaining my souce of income and the fact that I am about 3 yrs off recieving my State (not old please !) pension....

I will print off the advice that you have suggested and take it with me when I call in on my neighbour the Maire.....I'll go for overkill on this and go back to the CPAM in Bergerac as they will have the capacity to argue the case....I hope !

(Debra Archer) #47

The problem with the statement is if it's from last year it only shows payments based upon the previous year's usage. They need to see current usage. So if you had this year's statement showing the usage over the last year they might accept it. The problem with that is the suppliers usually only send out an annual statement and invoice if you're paying monthly. They may send one if you ask though - but as I said, an attestation from the maire that you've been living there should suffice.

(Debra Archer) #48

The S1 question is a standard one that will always come up because you can only join the French system if you have no entitlement to cover from any other EU state's health system. Hence needing the letter from Newcastle to confirm that you have no entitlement.

(Graham Roberts) #49


It sounds to me that you may have a "temporary Attestation de droits à l'assurance maladie" This is issued to non french applicants and subject to providing details of your general practitioner and photos a Permanent attestation and Carte Vital will be issued. The fact that your notaire decoded your number indicates that it is this temporary attestation as I understand no other numbers issued in France will refer to such things as alienship.

My wife & I are both Australians and have been living here for 3 years, but it was only after 1 January 2016 that we were alerted to our ability to apply for a CV after 3 months residency. We applied by mail using the Cerfa form online and received our temporary attestaions after 3 weeks. We then completed the next set of paperwork sent to us (General practitioner's details plus our photos) and withing 2 weeks we received our Carte Vitale and permanent Attestation. Quite simple and painless really.

If your wife has received her Permanent SS number there is no reason that she should not have also received her Carte Vitale (unless she has not provided photos etc)

It is interesting to note that all postal applications for etrangers (non EU citizens) are sent to the Bayonne office of CPAM and they seem to know what they are doing. Visiting the local CPAM office can sometimes result in dealing with people who do not know the rules.


(Sue Young) #50

Problems arise of course because most people I know pay bills on line or by DD-and hence no bills.water bill only twice a year, EDF read the meter only once a year and like others we pay a set amount monthly. Orange-only bills on line.

(Hilary Jane Dunk) #51


Contacted the DWP today, who are going to send me the required letter in French and English to forward on.....

BUT, in the back of my mind, I have the feeling that I have read that it is now possible for people to opt to be treated/ hospitalised free, in the country of their choice.......I'm sure I didn't dream how does that work ?

(Hilary Jane Dunk) #52

Well, that was exactly what I took along to CPAM a statement of my prelevements for Gaz, starting in 2015 and running into 2016.....

I will print off my last few telephone bills (which shows the dates of calls made and proves that I was 'in residence' the letter from the Maire...surely that will do the trick ?

(Karen DebaxLatour) #53

You can get your Marie to do an attestation that you have lived at your address since... I have found this works for most French admin people.

(Hilary Jane Dunk) #54

Yep, will do, thanks.

(Robert Hodge) #55

Yes Sue, that can indeed be a problem. It is in fact the very reason that I still insist on paper accounts/bills by post wherever I can (utilities/bank/phone/insurances etc). Not very environmentally friendly I know, but it sure does help to smooth troubled waters regarding bureaucracy here in France. Also very handy to have if you ever need to apply for a visa for the USA.

In general, I have also found there to be a greater success rate if applications are made by post using the correct Cerfa forms. I think that this is perhaps because the papers then go direct to the more skilled back-office staff, rather than via the front of house folks who often do not seem to have as thorough a knowledge of the intricacies of the system as one would hope for.

(Debra Archer) #56

Mine are all online to print off if I need to

(Jane Williamson) #57

Hilary Jane, perhaps you are thinking if the new relaxation of the rules governing access to the NHS for ex pat retirees?

You need to be in possession of an S1 to be able to do that and to contact the Health Trust in the area where you want to be treated. You can now do this without having to get permission from the French health authorities.

(Hilary Jane Dunk) #58

Thanks Jane,

So I have to wait until I get my state pension until I can exercise that option.....Well, my experience has lead me to beleive that being hospitalised and treated in France is a better option than the UK, so it isn't of much concern to me....

(Jane Williamson) #59

Hilary Jane, if you are not in the French system you can exercise your right to be treated anywhere, but you will have to pay for it.

Within the French system you can access healthcare elsewhere if it is not available in France, but you need the agreement of the French health authorities, as they would be paying for it.

Early retirees had to look after themselves, but now you can obtain a Carte Vitale if you are an established French resident. Back to the start of the circle.

(Hilary Jane Dunk) #60

Ok, thanks, I've got it...