Health Insurance when at our Holiday Home

My husband and I are retired, but not yet eligible for our UK pensions. We spend months at a time at our French Holiday home. We are looking for health insurance which would cover us during our time in France any advice from other members would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

I know from my French friend, that not all the French declare 100% but this is about those who think they are slipping through the net 100% and pay nothing. What you have to remember is, it is those who are doing this, that we all have to pay for. Idealistic, I know, but wouldn't it be nice if everyone just paid their bit then they could lower taxes? Simplistic view I know, but, I am even getting to the point where I don't see why I should bust a gut paying, so that I don't have to look over my shoulder, when there are those who blatantly flaunt the law.

The surprising thing is that French friends were totally surprised that we were going to declare all the takings on our gite.

Thing is our French neighbours are getting sick of it and have, as we say, started to 'dob them in' Hefty fines and back tax?

Yep - loads of em in my area and they are so smug about it! I doubt many of them declare it in the UK (or elswhere) for that matter. They also don't bother registering their furnished holiday let with their local mairie and think they are being really bright by only accepting £Sterling, either in cash or via Paypal. Huge mistake.

Funny thing is I was talking to some friends of friends just last night who said, wait for it....'we've been staying at our place on the coast since the beginning of May but think we may stay on for an entire Winter this year to see if we like it'. So when I happened to mention this would make then French resident with tax and healthcare implications - I could almost see the tumble weed blowing through the room.....

Funny that! The other great tax fiddle of course, is those who rent out their French holiday homes and do not pay that tax on that income in France. Many plead ignorance on this one as well and there is plenty of it going on.

Well - this discussion dropped of the radar - I wonder why? :-)

Just to clear something up - domicile and residency are two very different concepts under the law. Simplisticly, domicile is where you have your main home (or even origins), whereas residency is where you spend most of your time (specifically for tax purposes). It's a combination of these 'factors' which determine your tax liabilities and legal obligations. Plenty of official info available online and from qualified advisors.

No point in simply trying to spend less than 183 days in France per year.......

It makes me mad as heck Jane - such 'special' people! I can think of a few near me but, never mind the net is tightening and, as systems become more interlinked the fisc will be easily able to route them out. The thing is they can go back at least 3 years so some pretty hefty bills / fines on the way.....

I can think of one Australian who overstays!

Aah OK :-)

Yup again - so my comment wasn't for your benefit Paul :-)

That is why I said "EHIC visitors to France"

Yup - but only if you are not a French resident......

No probs then Colin - I was simply confused by your statement that you have been in France for 10 years - apparently not so.....For info - your residency is essentially defined by your dominant commercial centre of activity, not solely the amount of time spent in each country.

However, so long as you kept your medical treatment receipts, they would have been mostly reimbursable by the UK. Absolutely no idea why the ED in Agen didn't accept your EHIC card - most odd...

Pretty straightforward : EHIC Heatlthcare in France

Oh and by the way a Carte Vitale is simply an automated payment and reimbursement facility - it does carry any rights with it per-see.

And - you say you get no assistance whatsoever from French healthcare authorities - except of course your emergency treatment and prescriptions....:-)

This could be a solution to your problem - a Top Up insurance for EHIC visitors to France. It is like a Mutuelle type cover that residents have but for visitors to France and it can pick up the balance that the CPAM do not plus it covers Repatriation and Funeral Expenses which the EHIC does not.

Sorry for late reply, we have been travelling. No we are not under the radar, we spend 6 months a year in UK and our domicility is definately UK. We cannot get Carte Vitale as we are NOT residents in France. Yes simple if you are residents but our only fallback is travel insurance, and that means we have to return every 60 days. I fell and broke my pelvis in 2005 and after arriving at emergency in Agen, my wife was asked how she would pay. EHIC cards of no interest to them. Fortunately our travel insurance kicked in as I was in traction for seven weeks. My wife is on regular medication, prescribed by a French doctor, and so that is classed now as planned treatment and not covered for reclaiming, so we are practically on private medical care. Whilst we have a house in UK we will not move permanently so our situation will not change. We get no assistance whatsoever from French healthcare authorities.

Just let the mairie know about the gite business, he should be registered their anyway, that will start the ball rolling. Our mairie turned up at one the other week with the gendarmes exercising her powers and shut it down pending investigation.

Hi Andrew - yep but it's not that straightforward in France. HMRC in the UK make it really easy but here you need back-up proof which is difficult when all you have is an overheard broadcast by a dick!

I found these guys online but not sure ...

shop him, Simon, shop him please because the rest of us are having to pay what he doesn't!

Also annoying are the self-employed people who tell you you can't survive in France unless you put the a big chunk of what you earn under the table. I must be dead then.