Health insurance proof before WA deadline- my duck is not quacking

Dear all,

Thanks everyone for advice and opinion on what counts as residence. Now arrived :blush: and next dilemma(?) is proof of health insurance. As I’m still working, requested S1 from 29 November as cross border / frontalier (not remote working – but weekly commuting requirement is of course pandemic suspended).

First applied start of November – got a letter back 13 November in UK – they needed a French address for partner. Reapplied with our now sorted French accommodation address. My online tax account showed processed 1 December- called to confirm, yes they said all done, being sent to the French address.

Two weeks later, nothing in the post box. Called up again, yes he said, definitely posted 1 December to France– and said to allow 20 working days to arrive – which is after WA deadline I pointed out! Well, that’s the time we’re told to say, said he. Is the S1 definitely from 29 November? (yes) Can you e-mail me some sort of confirmation? – no, we only do things by post.

So I have nothing (yet) in writing on healthcare insurance. I asked the Captain how long his S1 took to arrive and he kindly replied Dont’ panic, Jonsey! He did start to twitch a bit when it got to Day 12/13 of ‘it will arrive in 15 days’. On Day 15 he got a billy doo from Newcastle telling him that it had been posted and would arrive ‘in 10 days’. It arrived about 3 days later.

Now, whilst I appreciate my S1 may similarly being processed, not posted, my worry is the mec on the phone said it was DEFINITELY POSTED on the 1st – and it’s now the 19th. (Though I imagine he’s not the one doing the post).

So yes I’m getting twitchy! Worst case scenario could be they haven’t agreed it, and I only find out after the deadline. No cover in place = not legal resident = not covered by WA.

By rights I’m entitled to it, I’ve got the printed S1 application and my UK NI contributions on my December payslip, but I don’t think that will work uploading in the healthcare bit of the CDS website.

My instinct would be to hold out past the deadline and argue the case post event if necessary, but if it hasn’t arrived by 31 December, in an abundance of caution, I could always take out private cover for us both as an interim – not cheap, but better than not having WA rights. But wouldn’t want to muck any insurer around (particularly @Fabien - thank get your health insurance sorted e-mail!).

The official document guidance requires proof of residence in 2020 – but for health insurance, no reference to it has to be in 2020.

Surely it can’t be that uploading the CPAM certification valid / dated from March or April 2021 would do?

Remain in France (RIFT) website has document requirements:

S1 (if you have one and …)

Attestation that you have applied to your local CPAM

And … you will ultimately be covered by the French system from the date on your S1.

I’m assuming I can’t go down to the CPAM to apply without the actual S1 form?

Any advice / opinions? (I’d give it a bit longer for billy bunter’s postal order to arrive, but xmas is coming up so hoping to catch everyone or anyone – and merry xmas and a Happy New (France resident, albeit in curfew) year to all!

The official document guidance wording is here (link posted by Geoffrey Sains)

Article 1 (residence)

un justificatif de séjour en France pour l’année 2020 ;

Article 2 (employment / health insurance)

III. - Dans le cadre d’une activité professionnelle exercée en dehors du territoire de la France :

une attestation de prise en charge par une assurance offrant les prestations mentionnées aux articles L. 160-8 et L. 160-9 du code de la sécurité sociale ;

NB for anyone interested and doing the self-employed route, title II. - As part of a self-employed professional activity in France:

proof of registration… and;

proof of the effectiveness of the activity.

Someone starting up in December 2020 can’t really provide proof of the effectiveness in 2020 can they? Remain in France (RIFT) website has ‘Your proof needs to be valid at the time you apply so you will not be penalised … if your business venture subsequently fails.)

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provided you can show reasonable attempts to start on your ducks… I don’t think you’ll have a problem.

If you’re here now… all well and good.

an easy Duck… is car insurance (and house insurance if you’ve got a property…)

There’s all sorts of stuff you can get going on… you’ve seen the lists we’ve suggested elsewhere, I’m sure…

good luck

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You have until end of June 2021 to apply for your WA RP card so there’s no immediate panic to receive your S1 (apart from any medical expenses you may incur between now and getting your Attestation from CPAM). As long as your S1 form is dated before 31/12/2020 it’ll be accepted when applying for your residency card. Welcome to la belle France .

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If you are stressed about this then perhaps fill in the formulaire to join ameli with the basic documents - copy of passport, birth certificate and work contract.

Check whether your local CPAM is actually open, but if not stick it all in the post recommandée (registered) and send it in with a covering letter saying you are a frontalier and that your S1 will be submitted separately. And keep hold of the copy and the postal slip.

Then when the S1 arrives you can send it all in again!

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Hi Jane,

Thanks for the suggestion - very good idea, I can check if the office is open and make an appointment - or just go there, it’s about a 10 minute walk. At least I’ll feel I’m doing something!

I think your link was broken - I got a 404, but I think you mean the S1106 form? I’ve got a couple of these in English, printed out. It does say though if you’re a member of another countries social security system, don’t fill in the form - use the S1 !

On the back for supporting documents it asks for an employment contract - but I’m sure they mean a French contract. Interestingly, the not employed section asks for any document showing residence for last three months, but NOT proof of private health insurance for last three months …

Regards Dave.

I think these links work -

I believe that these days the forms are all sent to a central office for processing so people are asked about health insurance. We weren’t (which was lucky as we didn’t have any) but that was at the time when you did things face to face.

Reflecting on it further perhaps filling in that form would confuse matters. But if you are able to pop in or make an appointment to ask them about due process it would at least be a marker that you are here. And you could enquire whether there is anyone you could phone to talk to - I think the section that deals with international applications is in Belfort. Or, on further thought, phone the english speaking helpline and ask them…

When applying for my pension and S1 from the UK back in 2010, I managed one day to speak directly to the person who was actually processing it. He told me that because of their post room it took around 14 days for outgoing mail to leave, and 14 days for incoming mail to be received and reach his desk. It felt like months of waiting but it all came through in the end.


I handed in my S1 and associated papeles 9th Dec. I had a copy of the originals but didn’t get it signed or franked, so without anything back from CPAM it’s only my word and a unfranked photocopy that I have been there and done that.

And the woman who dealt with me did not realise, until I told her, that one of the S1s had to be returned to UK to validate payment after any call I might make on the FR health system.

That made me twitch a bit …

I have other boxes ticked - car insurance, as Stella recommended, tenancy agreement, bank a/c, applied to Mark Rimmer to do the re-reg thing …

I still twitch, tho’. I’m still not clear if I need to take a health policy of some sort.

The Attestation de droits à l’assurance maladie is the all important form you’ll receive at some time after applying to join the French health system and proves you’ve been accepted. Your Carte Vitale will follow on at a later date. I recently read on another forum that the French authorities have confirmed that a form S1 will be accepted as proof of viable health cover from the date stated on the S1 so private health insurance is not necessary for WA RP card purposes. Unfortunately the said forum has closed for xmas so I can’t post the relevant link.

Unless money is really tight… why not get some Health Cover. I think Fabian knows a company which will switch from Full to Mutuelle if/when CPAM gets sorted out…

In fact, if money is tight… get something anyway… 20% of Hospital bills can be horrendous.

I know a family who decided to get Mum back to UK rather than stump up for her continued treatement/long-term-hospitalization after an unfortunate incident.

They found the cheapest ambulance cost £3,500. the journey took 14 hours and was very painful for the patient who was on a drip, catheter and had several broken bones…

EHiC still valid until 31/12/20 and OP reckons his S1 should arrive any day.

And captain endeavour has a copy of his S1 dated before 31/12/21.

neither of which are sufficient in case of a serious/ghastly incident…

Mum is finally out of hospital, after several months… now in a wheelchair but hoping to be walking with crutches… and then just have to see how things work out.

If she had stayed in France, the family would be bankrupt.
4 weeks in IC at Bordeaux already cost the family an arm and a leg…

Thanks Joyce. But what about this limbo-land where the S1 has been handed in to CPAM but one has no other documents to show, including one to show that the S1 is ‘in process’ ? I do feel very remiss in not asking for some sort of ‘receipt’.

Ah! Jane has it! There must be a date on the S1 showing when Newcastle issued it. Chapeau!

I’ll have a ham sandwich, as I’m not going thru’ Douane and then start worrying about something else…

“… decided to get Mum back to UK”. It’d be no good stuffing me in an ambulance or any other conveyance and shipping me back to UK. I have no connections with UK expect for Lloyds Bank, Scot Wids, HMRC and DWP. No relatives there to the nth remove - or anywhere else, for that matter.

I suppose, once unloaded into some NHS facility the FR crew could say, “It’s free here? He’s all yours”.

The next 2-3 week is going to be tight - blasted vehicles running up inordinate, unavoidable costs. Assuming calmer financial waters into Jan, I will be on the case.

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That’s just the way things are unfortunately. In the ‘old’ days it was much easier as you did things face to face and could then obtain some sort of receipt. I do agree with Stella that temporary private health insurance may be a wise purchase.

An update - and sorry to hear of Stella’s mum’s ordeal.

I acted on @JaneJones advice and looked up the cpam local website -it had a number 36 46 it rang but gave a message, sounded not in use and disconnected - excuse mon francaise. Got through on +33 184 90 36 46 though and I think the lady said no appointment necessary, just go down - and take your EHIC.

So today walked over and two guards blocking the door, fair enough we are from UK! - said ‘ring the number on the poster on the wall’. Which I did - a more local number, and the lady (excuse my French) I think said (in summary):

  • without the S1 you cant have an appointment - make one when you get it; and
  • in the meantime use your EHIC if you need to.

Talked me through some of the docs, I think she asked did we get a stamp on the passport (non, but the lease has a start date of 1 December) - she said OK.

Then one of the guards came over with a piece of paper with my name written on it and documents highlighted - but I don’t think our visit was ‘registered’ - while still on the phone to the lady - at least I was able to convey I was standing outside the office! Though name, DoB and address given over the phone.

I’d be very interested in the number of the English speaking ameli helpline you mentioned Jane :slight_smile:

So will mull over whether to spend 1 to 2 K spent on temporary healthcare. Whilst NOT expecting an S1 to arrive in the post - though fair enough if it does take 2 weeks to exit the HMRC postroom after been ‘posted’, and now the Dover grande bouchon, maybe it is on its way - slowly.

And the lady did say (as far as my french goes) use the EHIC in the meantime and HMRC did say, yes your S1 has been issued for you and your partner … though they also said it was definitely posted 1 December (and we won’t e-mail you to confirm that). It’s all ‘say’.

Maybe I’ll go back to HMRC and push for something more concrete that a verbal assurance.

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You need any information, regarding your social security insurance, benefits and healthcare rights in France ? Send us your enquiry.

Call our French Health Insurance Advice Line :

[09 74 75 36 46](tel:09 74 75 36 46) (from France)

[0033 974 75 36 46](tel:0033 974 75 36 46) (from other countries)

Monday to Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Our English speaking operators will answer immediately or within 48 hours, if the answer requires research.

09 74 75 36 46

Not my Mum actually… I should have said “their Mum” is now out of hospital…

but thanks for the kind thought.

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On healthcare costs I thought I’d seen something that limits the overall costs - having a look on:

Your hospital costs will be fully reimbursed if you are in one of the following situations:

  • you are hospitalized for more than thirty consecutive days (your 100% coverage then begins on the thirty-first day);

There’s also a few others, e.g.:

  • you are hospitalized for a therapeutic or diagnostic act with a coefficient greater than or equal to 60, or a rate equal to or greater than € 120 (measure introduced by Decree No. 2011-201 of February 21, 2011, applicable since 1 st March 2011); (who knows what that is)

Still, as you point out the first 20% could be very stiff - and there’s the 20 euro / day 600 / month - though I guess you get fed!

Good to think about. Partner has knee problems - will be getting some info on mutuelle top ups - and maybe the full cover till the S1 turns up.

There is a lot written… and a lot of it is good… the problem arises when an incident occurs which needs care outside that which is written about…

I have quoted from a case which happened this year. It was a horrific, unforeseen incident which had very serious, complex and long term medical/rehabilitation needs… still ongoing.

Which is why it was deemed cheaper to get their Mum back to the UK and get it all done and dusted for free.

In your first example the hospital costs over 30 days being free, that is just the hospital costs ie the forfait journalier of 20€, not the rest!

For urgent and emergency surgery then in general if you are in a public hospital you pay very little, if anything. However for elective or semi-elective surgery it can be very different. Say you need a heart valve replaced and prefer to go to a specialised clinic with a team that does this operation hundreds of times a year. Well the surgeon and anaesthetist may well charge a significant amount more than the social security rate - which is their right - and you can also pay for everything else, down to an extra bandage. It is common for people to tell me their mutuelle has paid 10,000€ or more. (Which is why I have hospital cover)

This is some prices for abdominal surgery at private clinic in Lyon
Chirurgie de la paroi abdominale :
255.37€ à 1065.48€
-Chirurgie de la vésicule et des voies
biliaires : 318.40€ à 3465.56€ -Chirurgie de l’estomac et duodénum :
291.49€ à 3515.65€
-Chirurgie du foie : 462.79€ à 4727.47€ -Chirurgie du pancréas : 481.62€ à
-Chirurgie du colon et rectum : 335.44€ à
-Chirurgie de l’œsophage : 269.07€ à