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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi folks,

I'm planning on moving to Toulouse in August on a student visa. The next thing I need to look into is health insurance. I'm not a young guy so I want to have coverage that is reasonably good for myself and my wife. I think that I'm required to show that I've purchased some sort of health insurance to qualify for the student visa. Does anybody have any insight into what's required, what's available and where I should start looking? I know that the health care system in France is much different from ours, but I really don't know how it works. Would appreciate any info/insights!

Thanks!
Scott
 

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What you'll need is an expat health insurance - i.e. one that covers you more or less like the French national health care system does. But check with the consulate website. For a student visa you may need coverage that includes "medical evacuation" so that if you or your wife becomes seriously ill or injured, you can be evacuated back to the US. (Not actually that good a deal unless you have US based coverage, too.)

To get some idea of what health care coverage will cost, take a look at the coverage offered by AARO (an American expat group) AARO?s Health Care Program for Expatriate America You have to be a member of AARO to buy their coverage, but it's probably the most available information on the types of coverages and the rates and can serve as a starting point when you're looking for insurance on your own.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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I am also interested in this however I am from Australia, if anyone has gone through this progress for a working holiday visa I would be interested to know which company in Australia. Thanks
 

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Aaro

We're just taking out AARO health insurance to bridge us over getting into the French system. The big deal is that we've both got pre-existing conditions (I'm a Type 1 diabetic, my husband has a cardiac stent), and AARO accepted us, whereas all the others I tried turned us down flat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
We're just taking out AARO health insurance to bridge us over getting into the French system. The big deal is that we've both got pre-existing conditions (I'm a Type 1 diabetic, my husband has a cardiac stent), and AARO accepted us, whereas all the others I tried turned us down flat.
Hi, that's good info. Appreciate it. I have a pre-existing condition as well which I'd like to get covered, if possible. May I ask what you mean by taking out the AARO health insurance "to bridge us over getting into the French system"? Also curious as to which plan you chose. I looked at their pricing chart and it lists a rate for a single individual and a family plan. It would just be my wife and myself. Does that mean that we go for the family plan? Or do we apply individually and have separate policies, or is there a policy that accomodates us as husband and wife? Thanks!

Scott
 

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Pre-existing condition

We're just taking out AARO health insurance to bridge us over getting into the French system. The big deal is that we've both got pre-existing conditions (I'm a Type 1 diabetic, my husband has a cardiac stent), and AARO accepted us, whereas all the others I tried turned us down flat.
I am also a type 1 diabetic and in excellent health and with a healthy spouse. I had concerns on whether my pre-existing condition would be a problem. Looks like I might be able to get insured but may I ask what your policy cost for both of you?

Thanks
 

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AARO Cost

We're still waiting for all the details, but it looks like we'll be paying the standard rate for our age and coverage - so no increased premiums. If you go to the AARO site you'll find the downloads for premiums and other info (AARO?s Health Care Program for Expatriate America) They did want evidence that we're currently insured (in the US, in our case), and I think they can apply a waiting period before covering certain things.

The one thing I'm not sure about yet is if they'll pay all my diabetic supplies. I wear a pump, and use the continuous glucose monitoring system (sensors and transmitter - not covered under the French state system). I suspect they might consider the pump supplies under a total lifetime limit. But I'm not worried about that because I've also got US insurance that picks those up. What I was really worried about was getting diagnosed with something horrid, or getting run over, and not having coverage.

When I get into the French system, everything diabetic will be covered 100% under ALD (affection longue duree - forgive lack of accents), except for the sensors/transmitter, and I'll pay those out of pocket.

I should also add that I made it clear when applying to AARO that my diabetes has been under extremely tight control since diagnosis 16 years ago (A1C<6.3), no hypo episodes, no complications, etc. Don't know if that made a difference, but worth mentioning.

To the other questions:

Bridging into the French state system - we're eligible to apply for the French system, but there's going to be a gap of a few months what with us being in the middle of moving, and then needing to show 3 months' residence, etc.

Applying - if you're married with no children, you do two single applications, which is significantly cheaper than the family version. Off the top of my head, we did the Gold comprehensive - the one with no dental.

Sorry for the long post!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
We're still waiting for all the details, but it looks like we'll be paying the standard rate for our age and coverage - so no increased premiums. If you go to the AARO site you'll find the downloads for premiums and other info (AARO?s Health Care Program for Expatriate America) They did want evidence that we're currently insured (in the US, in our case), and I think they can apply a waiting period before covering certain things.

The one thing I'm not sure about yet is if they'll pay all my diabetic supplies. I wear a pump, and use the continuous glucose monitoring system (sensors and transmitter - not covered under the French state system). I suspect they might consider the pump supplies under a total lifetime limit. But I'm not worried about that because I've also got US insurance that picks those up. What I was really worried about was getting diagnosed with something horrid, or getting run over, and not having coverage.

When I get into the French system, everything diabetic will be covered 100% under ALD (affection longue duree - forgive lack of accents), except for the sensors/transmitter, and I'll pay those out of pocket.

I should also add that I made it clear when applying to AARO that my diabetes has been under extremely tight control since diagnosis 16 years ago (A1C<6.3), no hypo episodes, no complications, etc. Don't know if that made a difference, but worth mentioning.

To the other questions:

Bridging into the French state system - we're eligible to apply for the French system, but there's going to be a gap of a few months what with us being in the middle of moving, and then needing to show 3 months' residence, etc.

Applying - if you're married with no children, you do two single applications, which is significantly cheaper than the family version. Off the top of my head, we did the Gold comprehensive - the one with no dental.

Sorry for the long post!
No need to apologize for the long post. That's real helpful info. If you don't mind, if you could let us know how it played out when the process is complete, that would be great, ie did they end up changing the rate, or giving you a waiting period for your pre-existing condition? Also I'd be curious to know what other carriers that you tried who denied you flat. Might save us some time from going down a deadend road. Thanks again!
Scott
 

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Great Information everyone thank you. My wife and I are moving to Paris and are both going to be students and this information is invaluable so thanks again! And Elmohassel I see your from Austin, we lived in Austin for about two years and now reside in Houston maybe we'll run into each other in France...it is a small world
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Great Information everyone thank you. My wife and I are moving to Paris and are both going to be students and this information is invaluable so thanks again! And Elmohassel I see your from Austin, we lived in Austin for about two years and now reside in Houston maybe we'll run into each other in France...it is a small world
Very cool, Chefaj. When do you head to Paris? Have you gotten your student visas yet? I'm a little worried about this process. There's a lot of things to have lined up!
 

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Very cool, Chefaj. When do you head to Paris? Have you gotten your student visas yet? I'm a little worried about this process. There's a lot of things to have lined up!

I have not yet started the process, I am still waiting on the acceptance to my school which should be coming any day now.... Your right there is a ton of things to line up in order to make the move across the pond! We are getting rid of everything we own just about and liberating ourselves from all of our crap! I am looking forward to this move and i know there will be some red tape, just one thing at a time...but forums like this make things a little easier to understand how the transition might pan out...
 

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Hi ChefAJ,

I'm in Houston too! My husband is applying for Competences et Talents tomorrow. Just wanted to connect with a fellow Houstonian! :D

*Thread hijack over...forgive me!* :D
 

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Audreyc! What's up! Good to hear from another Houstonian! When will you be moving to France we will be there in late August for at least two years, just trying to line up a place to live and sell all our crap! Wish it wasnt cloudy today could use some sunshine! Anyways good luck at the consulate!
 

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Audreyc! What's up! Good to hear from another Houstonian! When will you be moving to France we will be there in late August for at least two years, just trying to line up a place to live and sell all our crap! Wish it wasnt cloudy today could use some sunshine! Anyways good luck at the consulate!
Assuming we get our visa, we'll enter France on June 3 or 4. We're moving to Nice for as long as the French govt lets us legally stay. ;) It's a bit icky today. I went to take the trash out (I live a gripping life, eh!?) and it was like a steam bath out there. I won't miss the crazy heat here that's for sure! We are going to start packing/getting rid of stuff next week. We need to get rid of some crap too! It feels like such a ball and chain having so much. We actually moved to Houston this past August and have an entire bedroom full of unpacked boxes. :eek2: I have NO IDEA what all of that crap is but I want it gone. We've been living just fine without it. I think most of it needs to GO. Goodwill is calling my name.

Are you a chef at a restaurant here?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I have not yet started the process, I am still waiting on the acceptance to my school which should be coming any day now.... Your right there is a ton of things to line up in order to make the move across the pond! We are getting rid of everything we own just about and liberating ourselves from all of our crap! I am looking forward to this move and i know there will be some red tape, just one thing at a time...but forums like this make things a little easier to understand how the transition might pan out...

Getting back to this whole issue about health insurance...One thing that concerns me is I get the impression that the Consulate wants to see proof of health insurance in order to issue the student visa. It doesn't say this on their website, but I've had a few people tell me that this is a requirement. Seems like the timing could be a problem. Most health insurance companies won't accept an application until 2 months prior to the requested effective date. If that's the case, then there's not a lot of time to get that done (underwriting on the health insurance will probably take a few weeks); have your proof of insurance in hand; and then go to the consulate to apply for the student visa. Seems like that could be a real tricky time crunch at the end there. Do you know anything about this, or have any thoughts on this? Thanks, Scott
 

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You're required to show health insurance coverage (all paid for and everything) for certain types of visas, most notably a "visitor" visa that does not include work privileges. The situation with the student visa is a bit different, as I believe they allow you to register for health insurance through your school (if that is available) when you register for classes.

If the website doesn't say that evidence of health insurance is required for a student visa, then see what they say at your visa appointment. (You may also want to check with your school about the availability of health insurance for students enrolled there.)
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Returning to AARO insurance, they turned that around in a matter of days, literally. They need original paperwork for the application and medical questionnaire, so there's delivery time involved, but they responded to the application in about 2 days, saying they would issue coverage, and then they did issue the coverage the same day they received the original paperwork (giving the ID # for the coverage), and put a "welcome packet" in the mail.

So - if you use AARO, you'll have plenty of time.

Someone asked what insurers turned us down flat because of pre-existing conditions. One was Now Health. I think the other was April, but I'm not sure on that, and didn't keep the e-mail.

Cheers
 
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