The French Healthcare System: Getting into it

Getting into the System  

Expats from an EEC country living in France can join the French state-run healthcare system though how this is done depends on whether they are retired, self-employed or other.  Once in the system, the Titulaire is given a French National Insurance number (Immatriculation) and is covered for medical expenses(*).  It is then possible to ask for dépendants (immediate family members or persons living with) to be added to the account. 

carte vitale_001
This process may seem incredibly complicated but, in reality, is fairly simple … especially with knowledgeable third-party help!  You need to be well-organised and patient as it takes time to get a Carte Vitale (health insurance card), although you will receive an Attestation (document of proof) to use and show to doctors, pharmacists and dentists in the meantime.

Each authority (caisse or organisme conventionné) issues its own forms though all require the following documents that can be prepared in advance:

·         Titulaire: birth certificate + translation; GP form(*); and RIB (French bank account details).

·         Spouse or Partner: birth certificate + translation and, if married, a marriage certificate + translation; a copy of a valid passport; and GP form(*). If of non-EEC nationality, a copy of the Carte de Séjour.

·         Children: photocopies of a valid passport and, sometimes, a birth certificate + translation.  Over 16s need to provide a GP form(*).

Note 1: All birth certificates should show filiation (both parents).  It is not necessary to provide original birth or marriage certificates, photocopies will do. All translations should be certified.

Note 2: If a partner is not married to the Titulaire, their attachment as dépendant has limited validity and is renewable every 12 months.

(*) GP Form / Formulaire de Choix de Médecin Traitant:  Each person over 16 should choose a GP as it entitles them to the maximum reimbursement of 70% as opposed to 30% without a GP.  The forms are automatically sent to the Titulaire though can also be downloaded from the web: www.ameli.fr/assures/rechercher-un-formulaire/index_alpes-maritimes.php

EEC Members Retiring to France

Step 1: Contact the home country’s state Pension Service to request an S1 Form (you will be asked for your National Insurance number and other personal details).

Step 2: Send the S1 Form to the local French authority (CPAM) with: a French utility bill; RIB (French bank account’s details); birth certificate and certified translation.

Step 3: The CPAM asks for further information and forms (including GP) to be completed.

Step 4: Add any dependents. Note: with third-party help, it is possible to bundle Steps 2, 3 & 4 together, thus saving time.

Auto-Entrepreneurs, Micro-Entrepreneurs, and Commerçants

Step 1: Create the company (and choose from a list of organismes conventionnés the authority to deal with the national health side of things).

Step 2: Once in receipt of an official Siret (company registration number), send copies of a birth certificate + translation to the RSI who will issue the National Insurance number.

Step 3: The organisme you chose asks for further information and forms (including GP) to be completed.

Step 4: Add any dependents. Note: with third-party help, it is possible to bundle Steps 3 & 4 together.

Top-up Medical Insurance

There are any number of insurance companies to choose from although your financial adviser, if you have one, should know which firms specialise in insuring the Auto-Entrepreneur, Micro-Entrepreneur, and Commerçant and how to ensure the legal discounts are applied.  

  © Pascale Florin of Peter Johnson sarl


Part 2 deals with  "How The Health System Works For Auto-Entrepreneurs, Micro-Entrepreneurs and Commercants"

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