Healthcare/disability in France

I am a wheelchair user following a spinal injury in 1998. Since my injury I have required carers to help me get up in the morning and go to bed at night, plus domestic help and receive funding from social services to pay for these services. I am married with a 6 year old daughter, my husband is self employed & works full time. I am a qualified translator/interpreter, (fluent French, German & Spanish) and do some work in this field and in private tuition.

My family & I would like to move from the UK to France. I require advice regarding whether or not I would be eligible for health care to cover my injury needs plus non injury related medical needs to cover/insurance/top up insurance etc? I realise the UK government stopped the reciprocal health care agreement in 2014, would this therefore prevent such a move from taking place and if so, does this mean that UK citizens no longer have full freedom of movement around other EU member states? If I can get health insurance, are there policies specialising in disability/pre existing health conditions? Also, would my family be able to get health insurance?

Up to now, I have searched long & hard on the internet to try to find consistent answers to my questions and have been faced with a lot of conflicting advice. I would like to do a Masters in European politics/European studies with the aim of living in another Member State & working in a disability related field for the EU, but if myself & my family do not qualify for healthcare then this would be impossible. I have contacted the Assocation des Paralysés de France and have not received a reply. I also contacted the company France Insurance who referred me to Sécurité Sociale yet this is divided into départements & I firstly need to know whether this is actually possible or not before we begin to look into location.

Many thanks for your help.

Rachel Smith-Ruffle

Hi all,

thanks for the info so far, please keep it coming! I forgot to mention in my first post that my accident happened in La Réunion when I was working as an Assistante d’anglais back in 1998. Don’t know whether this makes any difference to anything?



A couple of months ago Simon Armstrong suggested to another disabled poster that the NHS would issue an S1 in his case. It might be worth searching for that thread.

I can only speak as a 6 month retired Brit who moved here with Uk State pension Jan 2008, so got my Carte Vitale that year! it’s only since then my health has deteriorated, and with the help of CAF (Caisse Allocation Famille)this year now have complementary Health assurance again, taken out with AXA, it’s a Special Policy because of known longer term conditions, called Sante Modulango.

There is an AXA ad here on SFN, with 2 English speaking ladies running the AXA Agency. They may be able to look into for you and help you out.

So Rachel, you see my circumstances are very different to yours in that I’ve been here longer, the health except one thing I was medicated for in UK, all started here and I’m already retired. I’ve used CAF in 2 different departments (34 & 72) and been exceptionally lucky that in my current one the social worker is English employed by the Conseil Generale in the Department Prefecture, which is only 30kms from me.

They don’t generally speak English and ALL paperwork will be in French, it took months in both departments to get on their books to have someone allocated to me, although slightly faster here in the 2nd Dept, because I was already on CAF books.

The things you want answers to before you make any decisions, in my experience, will be the very questions you will be asked yourself!

Other than that Helen has given you all the best and more relevant information if you intend

Studying/Working here.

At present , if you do not know when or where you will live here it’s not possible to give you answers now,departments also seem to operate things in their own individual ways, and national politics change things so quickly, quicker than the Civil Servants put changes into operation, as they see fit. I’m not saying it’s bad here, it’s not, but the systems work very differently not the same as UK ones.

forgot to say - if you do go down the aah route you are limited to how many hours you may work per month

To be intitled to state prevision one of you needs to be working / in the system and seeing as you both have possible businesses here, setting up as Auto Entrepreneurs (now called micro entrepreneur) could be an option. Setting up as an admin help/ non court sworn translator / teacher would cost nothing, anything classed as artisan would require a short course to be taken at your cost.

Once registered you would get a numero securité sociale (although it can take a few months to get sorted) once one of you has this, the other partner can either be put on that number as an 'ayant droit' or set up there own business to get their own numero sécu.

Regarding your disability - there are two things that could apply - in terms of benefits you can apply for aah (allocation adulte handicappé), if awarded you then have to prove as well that your are not intitled to a pension d'invalidité from either France or UK. In terms of healthcare you can apply for ald - affliction longue durée and if awarded all treatment recognised by the securité sociale system would be covered 100% but you would not get 100% reomboursement without top up insurance for anything else