Over 65 Carte Vitale

Does it make any difference to the process of obtaining a Carte Vitale if you are over 65.

We have lived in France for nearly 3 years (and its about time we sorted this) and now pay French income tax.

Any constructive advice would be welcome.


Social contributions are chargeable to French-resident UK pensioners with an S1 on all income normally chargeable except what is called their replacement income, i.e. pensions. As Heather points out, this includes interest received, but most capital gains and dividend income are also chargeable & there are certainly others as well.

All the same, where there is a single earner with a dependent spouse, the French system of parts and taxing the household rather than the individual compares well with the UK, where taxation is chiefly based on the earnings of each individual.

Just a small point you will still have to pay social charges on some things like interest payments.

I have spoken to HMRC at Newcastle. They are only NOT providing S1s to "inactif" Brits. If you are of State Pension age, you are ok. And if you are still working in UK and paying NI, you are also ok.

Believe it or not, you can get help from social security towards paying for a mutuelle (top up). See the Health section of Useful Links which also has a run-down on CMU and a lot of other things.

See Useful Links page, section Translations, for a full update on the need for translations.

Dave, look at the Health section for basic info on Carte Vitale etc.

When we got our Cartes Vitales after I retired, we were issued with provisional Social Security numbers. We didn't know that they were provisional, Ameli didn't point this out. We applied for top-up insurance and supplied the insurer with the SS numbers we were given. They issued our third party insurance cards (carte tiers payant) with the provisional numbers. Meanwhile we got replacement Cartes Vitales with permanent numbers on. They didn't match. So I sent the cartes tiers payant back, as instructed, with a letter pointing out the problem. It took three requests to the insurer before we got new cards - the day I went into hospital. So don't jump the gun when you first get your card. If the SS number begins with 5 or 6, it's provisional and you'll be given another.

Dave, you don, t have to have it..BUT..if you were to be hospitalised you would have to fork out for the part that wasn, t reimbursed by the carte vitale and that could be expensive. My top up is 50e per month, hubby has , t got one yet but I am about to add him on.

Under EU law, an official document in the language of one member state does not have to be translated into the language of another member state.

The withdrawal of S! forms ONLY applies to early retirees.

Your top up is an optional extra. You can get a quote for it by talking to your local insurance agent. Alternatively if you are on low income ( can't remember threshold off top of my head ) you can apply for CMU-C via your Caisse (either CPAM or RAM etc ) and submit proof of income, etc.

There is an English speaking hotline you can call Mon-Fri 9-6pm 08 11 36 36 46 which handles calls for all the CPAMs nationally.


Thank you for this clarification.

One thing I am still confused about (my fault as I didn't put it in the original question). Is does one still have to have and pay for top up insurance.



Isn't the S-1 coverage only for two years?

Clare, I think you will find that is for early retirees. Once you are in receipt of your British state pension, as Peter says, there is no problem. We have just done this 1 week ago for my hubby who will receive his pension in September. Took all relevant documents..proof of identity, utilities bill, copy of birth certificate..not translated..RIB, and S1. All has been sent off and he will receive his carte vitale shortly, plus I will be covered by it.

Sadly the Dept of work & Pensions are no longer accepting S1 applications after the 1st July read here http://www.frenchentree.com/fe-health/DisplayArticle.asp?ID=47073 You will just need to go to your CPAM to prove your residency with your tax returns and that should sort it.

Yes can't add to the above except that I heard there were changes came in around April regarding the issue of S1's . You may still be required at some point to get your birth certificate translated into French by a Sworn Translator - and you will also have to provide a photograph when requested, to feature on your shiny new Carte Vitale. Once you have it, you need to swipe it in a local pharmacy to activate it.

Brilliant Thanks.



Dave - If you are now getting a UK State Pension, there's an enormous difference - You get the CV by right of being a UK pensioner, and the UK pays for it! In addition, you shouldn't then be required to pay the Social Contributions (CSG etc.) on your pension income. You'll need a form S1 for which you contact the International Pension Centre, for which you'll need your UK National Insurance no. Once you have the S1, you register it with your local CPAM office. The whole process requires a small mountain of paperwork, especially on the French side. If there are two of you, an S1 is needed for each person. If you don't get a UK state pension, of course, none of this applies.

If you do get your S1, you should make sure that your tax office knows and it shouldn't then charge Social Contributions on your pension income. This is based on article L136-1 of the French Social Security code, where you're exempt if you're not "à la charge, à quelque titre que ce soit, d'un régime obligatoire français d'assurance maladie" (in no way whatsoever at the charge of a French obligatory sickness insurance scheme). With an S1, it's the UK who pay, so the French scheme isn't 'at charge'.

It should be easier as you don't have to prove you're working etc. Contact/drop in and talk to your local CPAM. ;-)