Mandatory Health Insurance Requirements for Expats


Have tried searching for the minimum requirements for mandatory health insurance.

My husband and I are living in Australia and have not paid into the French social security. We will not be working in France so need to get mandatory private health insurance. We hold European passports so no VISA requirements.

Can anyone please tell me what the minimum health insurance requirements are ie we see options about Outpatient, repatriation, etc. We just want to get the minimum we can as it is all quite expensive.

Any help would be appreciated.


That is a good response. It's answered Jo's question in one paragraph, pointed out in general terms where pitfalls may lie and doesn't refer directly to any one individual's particular circumstances. Hopefully Jo will be able to sort out cover for the elements she mentioned.

The post is about mandatory health insurance in France. As far as I am aware there is a requirement for residents in France to have health cover whether it is from employment contributions, an S1, CMU or private health cover. Many second home owners ‘play’ the system knowing that it is very unlikely that anyone will notice if they spend more than 183 days in France and use their EHIC card and/or travel insurance for their cover. What worries me is when they then state/brag that they lived in France with no cover. That is bad advice and against the rules for residency. Just because somebody has done something does not make it legal or even good advice.

Hope Paula can sort you out Jo and it's a pity about the hi-jacking. I moderate a FB group and unfortunately every now and then it can get a bit crazy! Good luck with everything! Nicole :)

John, you are causing more aggravation than your contributions are worth. Please wind your neck in or take your fight to another web site.

John, as Jo's already pointed out, "Unfortunately the post seems to have become a sledging match between some people so will have to unfollow this discussion as my inbox is becoming full of the email notifications which are no longer relevant". I don't think there's any need to post short, acerbic comments now. Thank you.

Obviously not an expert on French law then.

That's a shame Jo, it is disappointing when this happens, especially on such useful posts but I do make a note of the culprits and repeat offenders will simply be banned.


(Community manager)

Thanks to everyone who provided helpful information - much appreciated. I have been in contact with Paula from Axa and some other companies for comparisons. Just wanting to get other options as well which I now have based on some of your feedback and feedback from other groups.

Unfortunately the post seems to have become a sledging match between some people so will have to unfollow this discussion as my inbox is becoming full of the email notifications which are no longer relevant.

If anyone else has anything useful to add though for me or other people with the same queries I will still come on and check every now and then - Cheers again

Brian English. Nothing abusive, I just can’t see how someone had lived as a French resident without entering the health system. I’m glad that your system works for you, I’d hate it. Nothing to do with having my head in the sand, quoting other people’s opinions is fine but to be realistic you have to listen to a lot of views. You are obviously a proud holiday home owner, nothing wrong with that but other people are allowed to do what suits them. Personally if Britain leaves the EU having a holiday home there might be a real inconvenience. I notice from your info page that you are a master of many trades and now teaching has been added to that. If I need your advice I’ll be in touch!

@ Nicole - no commercial links to your own business please. Thanks!

And thank you Valerie for getting the thread back on track :)

Ah but Brian, I too lived in Northumberland. It is beautiful and tranquil, but the stunning views of the Pyrenees from my garden and the ambient temperature sure do make a difference. Northumberland today, 13°: Pays Basque 24° and glorious sunshine. I know where I am staying.

Hi Jo

In my experience, researching this situation for my job, the lower the outpatient limit, the lower the cost. Also, some policies include dental right from the get go, some include it after 12 months. Same with maternity. I would assess your personal (or family's) needs with reference to your age and health situation and then search the web for quotes. Some sites are better than others and there are some comparison websites out there. I've used as they give you immediate quotes without having to put in any personal info. I really didn't like having to add in my email and tel no when researching as I then became inundated with emails and calls when I prefer to be the proactive one. But then that may be what some people want! Through nowcompare I found that Morgan Price offered the cheapest, most basic level health care coverage for France. It's also worth contacting Paulette Booth at AXA as she lives in France and has been going through their insurance paperwork, translating it all into English for all of us lovely ex-pats! I think this is a general email for her team - Hope this helps and good luck with everything!


Nice post, Brian.

I am alive. Friends in the UK did not believe I had four implants in my dicky ticker inside two weeks, in the UK the waiting list would have been longer. That makes no difference whether state system or the private insurance, I have both and moved into 100% cover with the former. Had I only had private then it would have been much the same.

Brian English - I'll take my chances for the time being. I am obliged to consider the quality of life not just for me but also for my family and the young daughter I have here (my choice I know but life with her is great). When I was working in the UK I could and did pay for private education for my two older children on the basis that where we lived in inner London it was a wise choice. I can no longer afford to pay for that luxury and could not like the majority afford to live to a nice area where the state education was the sort I would want to offer my daughter so I reckon we'll stay here. We could not afford even a cupboard where I used to live (and I don't want to live there anyway) and don't relish spending my passing years remembering the 43 good years I've owned a house in France to be forced in living in a two bedroom rented flat in some anonymous part of England or Wales. No Sir! I look out of my window over the village square to the good restaurant. In a National Park. 30 minutes from the fabulous coast. No traffic congestion. No parking charges. Wine @ about 3 euros a bottle. Great markets, produce direct from the farm. No traffic hum. Clean air. Nice people. Few moaning Brexiters!

I've not read through the discussion (bit busy today) but I see this is going sideways into personal comments - has Jo's question

"Can anyone please tell me what the minimum health insurance requirements are ie we see options about Outpatient, repatriation, etc. We just want to get the minimum we can as it is all quite expensive"

been answered as fully as we can with our wealth of diverse experiences?

I agree David and John. I have no intention of returning, I would be a minority in my family proposing such a move if I wanted. I am not so narrow sighted I do not see and accept the fact of a sinking ship. Pro-Brexit people are creating scenarios when the future is unforeseeable. To assume that there would be 'no change' of status in Europe and such speculations are folly. The UK is likely to build up resentment with its attitude and create barriers between themselves and the rest of the EU, the cause and effect are predictable but the outcome is not. I would rather take my chances as a British citizen in Europe rather than anything else. So, personally I do not want a crystal ball anyway, the path I have chosen is my own - or at least the one I share with my family.

The cuckoo in the nest there is the economic migrant line. Firstly, the present wave of migrants are mainly refugees. The EU migrants to the UK will be entitled to go there anyway, as long as the UK remains part of the EEA. Leave that and then the UK is truly alone. Assuming trade with China, India and so on is going to save the UK is naive. Even the newly signed agreement with China is petty cash in real terms. Apart from that, the small print is more about Chinese investment in the UK. On form, that means more businesses will be owned in part or whole by Chinese banks, production begin in China, parts assembled in the UK and distribution begin there. However, out of Europe China will go for direct sales because with UK subject to new ex-EU tariffs... Finance is not welded to the City, get that wrong and it is gone. There are other places ready to assume that mantle. However, the misery of several million people forced by circumstances to return to the UK is a factor nobody wishes to address. There will be pensioners who will lose homes throughout Europe only to return to a country where they cannot afford to buy and limited funds to live independently, there will be many children who have little in common with English language and culture who will need specialised educational support. There will be prime aged working people who will be job seekers. The list is long and unrelentingly full of negatives. But oh no, the Brexiters cannot and will not see the downsides because they will have their freedom to sink in their own misery. I have noticed that several of my cousins who were anti-Indy in Scotland whose livelihoods depend on EU membership have said that they will vote for independence next time round. No, not would but will vote for it because they are taking it for granted that Brexit will raise the immediate demand for a new referendum. So, Brexiters are not mentioning what they must know, that their union will be facing a crisis from which there may be no recovery.

So Brian, you are welcome to your island life, I am far too sceptical to share any positive thoughts many doom sayers like yourself are predicting, perhaps because I am far too much an economists beneath all else and accept that the world has become driven by economics and the socio-political dreams of people like myself come lower in the pecking order now. The large corporations who drive the world invest too much time and money into getting an ever closer world to care too much for a nation that suddenly wants to go off in the wilderness of uncertainty.

John Brian I agree with you. If my wife does get French nationality I will I think be able to stay here as a part of a married couple. The thought of living in the UK which the Brexiters tell me is being ruined by immigrants (actually my own family were immigrants into England from Wales and Prussia!) is a bit too much to take. We can see the bright lights of London but the reality in many other places is very very different unless you are well off. I see also that some forecasts are saying this morning that house prices in the UK are set to rise 25% over the next five years. Assuming that you could actually sell your French house (may be a big if) and not one house in our village has sold for over 125,000 euros, after costs of moving back, taxes (capital gains what are those?) you would be able to afford a mobile home in say Lincolnshire. That is EXACTLY the place where one returning couple I know ended up. Well sorry mate I just don't fancy that AT ALL. (with apologies to Lincolnshire which is lovely if you have a manor house, old vicarage or nice Georgian town house in Lincoln). Having moved twenty times in my life I think of France as my home now and the EU enabled me to make the decision to retire here. Too late to change now? Too large to fail? Simulation of British expats leaving France after Brexit.![](upload://uCPKMBl9C4H6e7evTQtgrU4KfY7.jpg)

You have an opinion Brian and you are entitled to that but you don’t have a crystal ball. Personally I can’t take you seriously as you obviously made little attempt to settle properly in France as having medical cover is a basic requirement. You have returned ‘home’. Whatever happens in the referendum I think that the thought of remaining in Europe even if the UK does leave the EU is far more preferable to the thought of living in Britain in the same situation.