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.)