Health cover - my head hurts

(Anna Watson) #21

Well no, because the condition for living in France as an inactif EU ressortissant specify that you must a) have income above a certain threshold and b) have health insurance. So until/unless you can demonstrate that you’ve met the income requirement continuously for a consecutive period of 5 years, you wouldn’t qualify for full rights as a resident.

It’s exactly the same conditions you need to meet to get a carte de séjour permanent. You won’t get a cds permanent as an inactif if you haven’t met the income conditions. That’s what the 5 year rule is all about.

(stella wood) #22

sorry Anna… I was talking just about Health… if PUMA don’t accept you after 3 months Residency… (yes, obviously you need to meet Income criteria too…)

Andy Whitby was a lucky person… :grin:

(Anna Watson) #23

so was I - if you live in France with private health insurance because you don’t meet the criteria for being accepted for PUMa, then PUMa will never be obliged to accept you no matter how many years you’ve been here.

Normally, provided your application is successful, your rights are backdated to the date you applied. So if you collect up your feuiiles de soins, once you get your attestation of rights you can claim your reimbursements from the state going back to that date. Although obviously there will be no top-up insurance for that period.

From what you see on forums these days I think Andy’s experience is pretty typical, that’s how it’s supposed to work, and unless documents get lost for whatever reason, by and large that seems to be what does happen. You do hear about ongoing battles with CPAM over incomplete dossiers but without knowing all the details it’s impossible to know how much of the fault is with CPAM and how much of it is due to misunderstandings. (One thing I’ve noticed about French administration is that if you send them a document and they can’t accept it for whatever reason, they tend to simply ask for it again, they don’t always say “yes we got what you sent but we can’t accept it because blah blah blah”. So people keep sending the same piece of paper and keep getting asked for it again and naturally they get cross because they think CPAM keeps losing it.)

(stella wood) #24

UK person applying after 3 months:

On what grounds would PUMA not accept someone from UK, who is not retired and not working.??? would it be just the income threshold…??

(Anna Watson) #25

To be accepted by PUMa you need to prove you are living in France “de façon stable et régulière” ie stably and legally. The legal conditions for EU inactifs staying in France beyond 3 months are here:

"Un européen inactif ou retraité peut séjourner plus de 3 mois en France à condition de :

posséder un titre d’identité ou un passeport en cours de validité,
disposer d’une assurance maladie-maternité,
et d’avoir des ressources suffisantes pour ne pas devenir une charge dans le système d’assistance sociale français.
Vous pouvez résider en France tant que vous remplissez ces conditions et que vous ne représentez pas une menace grave pour l’ordre public.

Votre droit au séjour sur ces 5 années peut être prouvé par tout moyen (par exemple concernant vos ressources : relevés bancaires)."

(stella wood) #26

Hi Anna… so on the face of it… there is no reason for PUMA to refuse anyone coming from UK who makes a request to adhere to PUMA after 3 months stable residence (and with the correct amount of income).

That sounds hopeful… but I would still advise folk to come over with some sort of health insurance in place… falling ill in France can be very expensive.

(Anna Watson) #27

As long as you’re an EU citizen correctly exercising your right to freedom of movement within the EU, then France is obliged by EU law to treat you as it would treat any other French resident in equivalent circumstances. That’s EU law, and France has designed PUMa to comply with it. Likewise CAF and all its other admin systems, it’s the same rules all round, it all hinges on stable and legal residence. If you meet the criteria you have EU rights and France has obligations towards you under the EU treaty, if you don’t meet the EU criteria you don’t have EU rights and France has no obligations towards you. There’s no great mystery to it and there shouldn’t be any grey areas, the criteria are clear.

The question of whether or not Brits in France are exercising their treaty rights correctly and thus whether they have rights in France, is likely to become very important next year and not just as regards PUMa.

(Andy Whitby) #28

Hi Stella

Yes. As soon as we received our CVs we took out a mutuelle.

I am assuming that proving your are financially secure and not going to be a drain on French society is now the major criteria, so I am not sure whether we have been lucky or not.

We have friends in Brittany who are going through the system at the moment and their experience seems to be mirroring ours.

Could be a major change in the French mindset.

All the best


(David Martin) #29

As I’ve said before I was accepted into PUMA just like Andy. I know many people who have done the same.
The thing to watch out for if you’ve just arrived is that your contributions are based on your previous years income. Some people leave highly paid jobs to take early retirement and their initial health care can appear very expensive compared to thier current income.

(Anna Watson) #30

They were under CMU and some people certainly got nasty surprises as a result, but I don’t think they are with the new PUMa system.

Your PUMa contributions for year N are based on your income during year N, which you declare in year N+1. You received the bill for healthcare during year N, at the end of year N+1. Hence the bills that people received in December 2017, were for healthcare during 2016. Bills for healthcare in 2017 will be sent out this coming December, once your tax return for 2017 income has been received and processed.

At least that’s how I understand it.

(David Martin) #31

Possibly but I had to provide details of my income for the previous year.

(Anna Watson) #32

Yes, I suppose they still have to assess previous income when they consider your application.
But as from 1.1.16, contributions are based on the year to which they relate and paid the following year. That’s why no bills were sent out in 2016, because under the previous system you would have been billed for 2016 healthcare at the end of 2016 based on 2015 income, but now you’re billed nearly 2 years in arrears.
What happens if they discover in year N+1 in arrears that you didn’t actually qualify for healthcare in year N, goodness knows. I wonder if it’s been thought through.

(Phil Bennett) #33

Hi All,
Just signed up and this is my very first post. Yes I know a proud moment and I am feeling good!
I have been looking at your forum for a while but when I encountered Helen’s post just a few moments ago I knew it was time to sign in. Helen’s hypothetical couple looking to move to France do exist. My wife and I who pretty much fulfil the description provided are making plans to move out of the UK just before Brexit (arghh!) in March 2019 and the race is on. I will be following this thread and others for what will clearly be crucial advice. Regrettably I have nothing to offer at this time (sorry) but please know that my wife and I, like Helen are very grateful for the help and guidance provided through this forum. Thank you.

(Vanessa Howard) #34

As I understand it you can only get a S1 if you are retired. So if you live in France you must have health cover and will have to buy a 100% health scheme to cover all costs should you need them. There are some insurance packages which pay a percentage back if not used. Worth looking at. Otherwise you will have to work and pay the french equivalent of the uks national insurance. This then covers you for 70% of health costs and a top up insurance policy can then be taken out for the rest.

(David Martin) #35

Have you read the thread? You seem to have missed out what people have said about entering the French health system via PUMA completely.

(Jeremy Fogg) #36

It seems that if accepted into PUMA, you’re only liable to pay 8 percent of your nett investment and property income, - not pension income - which seems very generous given the cost of private insurance.

You apparently also only need an income of 545 a month to be deemed not a burden on the state - I would love to know how anyone manages to live in France for that !

It’s a relief to find out that even post-Brexit and post-66, I shouldn’t have to find 5K a year for the rest of my life. Personally I would have been somewhat consoled simply to be able to pay my insurance money directly to my chosen country of residence rather than a private insurance company.

(Anna Watson) #37
  • after the first 9k or so.

Officially the figue goes up to 803,20€ once you reach 65.

(Pete Hague) #38

S1 refusal letters were issued to people below state retirement age. But these are not issued anymore. So catch 22 the French want S1 refusal and the dwp will not issue them.

We contacted DWP and they now issue a statement letter stating as you are not resident in the UK you are not entitled to Health care in the UK.

As for CPAM i think they ask for 6 months bank statements so print 12. UK bank and French bank plus utilities etc. Make up two folders one for each ( ours were an inch thick ). P60 as many as possible and any other proof of income all copies to be sent away. Have a third folder with the originals just in case but not to be sent off.

After a few months we were asked for more info which they already had but we dutifully sent it off again and a few months later the carte vitals arrived. We took a mutual out for about €70 for the two off us and now have 100% but probably wont cover full dental charges.

Hope this helps as when we tried to find information it was pretty difficult.

(Pete Hague) #39

To add to my previous post.
Birth certificates full size they will not accept the small ones. Marriage and divorce certificates. Basically copy and take the lot.

(Helen Rees) #40

Thank you all, it’s been most helpful. and good luck to you too @phil629