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I am a recently (early) retired teacher, approaching 56 and have moved to France with my wife. Neither of us is currently working but I plan to start giving private French lessons to expats shortly. I have been told that I am not eligible for an S1, but am also aware that we are legally required to have health cover. My pension is modest, just enough to live on - can anyone advise us on the best way forward to get into the state healthcare system? Any advice would be most welcome.
 

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'you can take the boy out of Sarf London, but you can't take Sarf London outta the boy'
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I am no expert, but firstly you need to have lived here for three months before you can make an application.

Get yourselves down in the first instance to your local CPAM office and apply for your carte vitale. You will need all sorts of documents, such as marriage and birth certificates with translations, and also proof that you do indeed have existing health cover.

After three months you can then apply or so i am told.
You may be accepted , you may not. Each department seems to apply the rules in a different way. You will need patience, persistence and politeness. Not to mention a good sense of humour....

Bon courage
 

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You need to apply for the state healthcare base cover, known as CMU-B - see info here. You will need to prove you have enough income to support yourselves and then you will pay 8% of your income which is above a minimum threshold of around 9500 euros per year. This provides cover for a percentage of your healthcare costs (around 65%-70%), you will need to cover the difference yourselves, or take out a "top-up" health insurance.
 

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If having to lose a percentage of your pension to get your carte vitale, and then maybe pay around 70 - 100 € per month for insurance to cover the final 30% of any precriptions, medical bills, then one way to increase your income is to work more - teaching English as well as French. Although it seems that you are moving to an area with lots of expats there are still French children and adults who need or want to improve their English. I don't live in an expat-rich town but my English teaching is done 7 days a week, from Lola (4) to Christine (runs a B&B 65).

All my private tuition is paid under the Chèque emploi scheme (CESU). This way your social/health cotisations are paid by the "employeur" - the pupil or his/her parent, and you get an official pay slip. With payslips confirming you have worked 60 hours in one month, or 120 hours in 3 consecutive months, then you will qualify for your carte vitale for 2 years.

I also work for agencies like Acadomia and Laureat.

But the first thing you need is a social security number.

Your expat pupils learning French can also pay you by CESU, as long as they have a social security number here too.
 

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Another option to obtain healthcare cover is to register as an Autoentrepreneur in order to give your French lessons. Using this method of registrations means that you do not need to have a minimum income within a certain period to qualify (as explained by contentedscot). You can then declare your wife as a dependent (ayant droit) on your healthcare cover. It is perfectly possible and legal to also take work under the CESU system as well as short-term contracts alongside the AE work.
 

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I agree with Tinabee your best et is to register as an autoentrepreneur and do it now so you can get into the Healthcare system asap.Beware however that after you register which is free you will be bombarded with e mails letters etc requiring you to pay amounts of money;many of these are scams to put you in a directory or a list,but I am sure you will be able to sort the wheat from the chaff
 

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I am a recently (early) retired teacher, approaching 56 and have moved to France with my wife. Neither of us is currently working but I plan to start giving private French lessons to expats shortly. I have been told that I am not eligible for an S1, but am also aware that we are legally required to have health cover. My pension is modest, just enough to live on - can anyone advise us on the best way forward to get into the state healthcare system? Any advice would be most welcome.
Dear Jarvis C
Your situation is very like my own: I took early (at 57) retirement from teaching in the UK and moved here (86 Vienne, but shortly moving to 79 Deux-Sèvres), three years ago.
(The difference - I assume - is that my wife is French and working, which would have made health cover for me easier to obtain. However, read on.......!)
Before I left the UK, and when I first arrived here, everyone (English and French) warned me that it was near-impossible to get a job in the French state education system, so I didn't even try at first, but, instead, explored private and educational agency tuition, both of which I found to be pretty unattractive options.
However, one day, I simply rang the local Académie and asked them for any advice they might have about getting involved in some way - even as a classroom assistant, for example - in the system. They nearly bit my hand off, so to speak, so keen were they to get hold of an English native speaker. Since then, I could have been employed full-time, had I wished: I have taught, for long (at least a term) cover posts, in a variety of collèges, which has given me an invaluable experience and insight into French education AND, very importantly, qualified me for my own health cover, independently of what I would be entitled to anyway, as 'ayant droit', because of my wife.
For many reasons (which I'll tell you about, if you PM me), I'm not keen to teach for the moment, but I am currently fending off phone calls with offers of posts for the coming rentrée. I have an English acquaintance here, whose experience has been exactly the same: she used to teach French in the UK (I taught English) and has been teaching, more or less full-time in France, for 5 or 6 years.
If you want to teach in France, my experience suggests that the general pessimism you are likely to encounter about your chances of being able to, is quite unjustified.
I hope this is helpful.
 

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Another option to obtain healthcare cover is to register as an Autoentrepreneur in order to give your French lessons. Using this method of registrations means that you do not need to have a minimum income within a certain period to qualify (as explained by contentedscot). You can then declare your wife as a dependent (ayant droit) on your healthcare cover. It is perfectly possible and legal to also take work under the CESU system as well as short-term contracts alongside the AE work.
Yes, becoming an auto-entrepreneur is a good start in getting registered and then if anything more 'permanent' comes up which will carry you through until either you or your wife become of age to become official pensioners - or the laws/requirements change!
 
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