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I know it's an old chestnut. I am 60 with a fire brigade pension my wife is 56 with a BT pension. We are buying a house in Aude and would like to make the move permanent. I know all about EHIC but I'm concerned about where we would stand with healthcare until I get my state pension and S1 when I'm 66. Mutuelles appear to be for permanent residents only. Can I top up EHIC wuth private insurance? Any advice or info would be fab
 

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Actually, if you're resident in France, the EHIC isn't really what you need or want. (EHIC is for holiday travel and may cover only "necessary" medical care - not necessarily emergency care, but it isn't supposed to cover standard doctor visits and such, either.)

Until you hit retirement age, you're supposed to have a private health coverage. There is also the CMU, which you can get for a flat percentage on your declared income. Officially, you are supposed to be able to get into the CMU program after 3 months of residence, however the paperwork can (and often does) delay that by "several" months.

To be on the safe side, you may want to plan on a year's worth of private health cover (and by that time you should have the necessary French tax documents to "prove" your income for assessment purposes).

Someone with more knowledge of the CMU details will be along shortly to explain the program.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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And here I am....As Bev says the EHIC card is only to e used for holidays etc.If you become permanent residents then you can join the French Health care system once you have resided in France for 3 months.To do this you need an annual household income of at least €9601 for the first five years of residency.The French system is contributory you pay the state 8% of your income which gives you 70% of your health costs so you will need a mutuelle for the remainng 30%.I would advise getting private insurance for the first part of your move as it takes some time for he paperwork to go through.I used a firm called Medibroker who found a monthly policy that could be cancelled when you joined the system.Whn you make your move come back for precise instructions
 

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Until you hit retirement age, you're supposed to have a private health coverage. There is also the CMU, which you can get for a flat percentage on your declared income.
Bev
Note that declared income is supposed to be all of your income, taxable or not. In the OP's case, of course, it would be the combined income for him and his wife and the coverage would of course then be for both of them. There is an allowance (approx. 9600 Euros for singles - I'm not sure about married couples but I believe it is higher) and the contribution is 8% of income above that amount. It's worth understanding this, as for some full private insurance is cheaper. The OP should remember also that the CMU coverage, as withl all social security coverage in France, is based on reimbursement of expenses, generally about 70%, and to gain full cover requires a mutuelle (top-up insurance).
 

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Just to clarify it is 8% of your income above the floor of 9601 and the income is per foyer-ie per household so if your income is say €20601 take off 9601 which gives 1100 so it is 8% of 1100 which will cover both of you
 

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Just to clarify it is 8% of your income above the floor of 9601 and the income is per foyer-ie per household so if your income is say €20601 take off 9601 which gives 1100 so it is 8% of 1100 which will cover both of you
I think you missed a zero, 8 % of 11,000, otherwise great clarification :)
 

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I used a firm called Medibroker who found a monthly policy that could be cancelled when you joined the system.
Will definitely try and give Medibroker a go. I'm trying to source International coverage from here in Australia. Just did an online quote with Bupa with the result of US$10000 per year per person. :eek: Does that sound about right?
 

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So to confirm you mean that you pay 8% of all income streams regardless of where they are from or whether they are taxable?
It depends. Certain government pensions are specifically excluded from the 8% - and in any event, the 8% is only assessed against sources of income for which there is no "normal" cotisation taken out (i.e. French source income from "passive" sources).
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Will definitely try and give Medibroker a go. I'm trying to source International coverage from here in Australia. Just did an online quote with Bupa with the result of US$10000 per year per person. :eek: Does that sound about right?
Bupa tends to be one of the more expensive options. You can take a look at the AARO rate sheet for their (members only) health coverage to give you a starting point for rates. https://aaro.org/medical-insurance (Take a look at the "Premiums 2015 brochure toward the bottom of the page.)

They have their members plan through one of the European insurers - possibly Swiss Life, but you can also check companies like AXA, Allianz, or an insurance broker (the AARO broker has a small ad on the right of that page - you could start there to see what insurers they deal with).
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Will definitely try and give Medibroker a go. I'm trying to source International coverage from here in Australia. Just did an online quote with Bupa with the result of US$10000 per year per person. :eek: Does that sound about right?
BUPA is probably the most expensive cover you will find, however generally has few exclusions and higher caps. That said, you would still need to submit an application to confirm the online quote. They generally will cover you for most pre-existing conditions at an additional cost. I found them too expensive for my budget and opted for AXA, but that was with ridiculous exclusions (really, I broke a bone in my foot almost 2 years before I left and they excluded anything that had to do with that foot!) - still, I knew I would be able to access the French healthcare system after 12 months once I'd formalised my French nationality (cheaper for me, especially for the cover provided). I still paid a fortune for a year's cover and didn't go to the doctor once (my so-called pre-existing conditions and health history have close to a 0 likelihood of requiring treatment), but it has to be said I could have been confronted with a significant and expensive illness.

If you're moving permanently, you really do need to ensure you get good cover, but I suspect you can get a better rate than BUPA (BTW I had my Aussie private health insurance with them, but that zero claims history counted for nothing). Try Pacific Prime brokers (you'll find them online) - they'll do lots of research for you and give you a range of options for you to look at. Once you thin the options down, they'll also provide the actual policies for you to review. I found them to be very patient during the year or so I was looking for suitable international health insurance. Even so, be aware that when you submit the actual application for cover, it's highly likely the insurer will require some kind of health history before you get the final advice as to the premium. BTW Pacific Prime will also submit all your claims if you wish, or alternatively you can do that direct with the insurer.

One final comment, have a look at how the insurer company deals with claims, eg. do you always have to pay up-front, or do pay certain French hospitals direct, what sort of treatments require pre-approval and how payment is made in those instances, etc.

Good luck.
 

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It depends. Certain government pensions are specifically excluded from the 8% - and in any event, the 8% is only assessed against sources of income for which there is no "normal" cotisation taken out (i.e. French source income from "passive" sources).
Cheers,
Bev
Hi Bev
Could you clarify "sources of income for which there is no 'normal' cotisation taken out (i.e. French source income from 'passive' sources)" - thanks.
 

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Basically they're talking about passive income here - bank interest, capital gains, etc. Really anything but standard French sourced employment income. But things like foreign pensions are up for grabs as those regulations seem to be changing even as we speak.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Basically they're talking about passive income here - bank interest, capital gains, etc. Really anything but standard French sourced employment income. But things like foreign pensions are up for grabs as those regulations seem to be changing even as we speak.
Cheers,
Bev
Thanks. That's what I thought. (Of course if you have French sourced employment income you would normally have social security cover through that and wouldn't need CMU cover.)
 

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BUPA is probably the most expensive cover you will find, however generally has few exclusions and higher caps. That said, you would still need to submit an application to confirm the online quote. They generally will cover you for most pre-existing conditions at an additional cost. I found them too expensive for my budget and opted for AXA, but that was with ridiculous exclusions (really, I broke a bone in my foot almost 2 years before I left and they excluded anything that had to do with that foot!) - still, I knew I would be able to access the French healthcare system after 12 months once I'd formalised my French nationality (cheaper for me, especially for the cover provided). I still paid a fortune for a year's cover and didn't go to the doctor once (my so-called pre-existing conditions and health history have close to a 0 likelihood of requiring treatment), but it has to be said I could have been confronted with a significant and expensive illness.

If you're moving permanently, you really do need to ensure you get good cover, but I suspect you can get a better rate than BUPA (BTW I had my Aussie private health insurance with them, but that zero claims history counted for nothing). Try Pacific Prime brokers (you'll find them online) - they'll do lots of research for you and give you a range of options for you to look at. Once you thin the options down, they'll also provide the actual policies for you to review. I found them to be very patient during the year or so I was looking for suitable international health insurance. Even so, be aware that when you submit the actual application for cover, it's highly likely the insurer will require some kind of health history before you get the final advice as to the premium. BTW Pacific Prime will also submit all your claims if you wish, or alternatively you can do that direct with the insurer.

One final comment, have a look at how the insurer company deals with claims, eg. do you always have to pay up-front, or do pay certain French hospitals direct, what sort of treatments require pre-approval and how payment is made in those instances, etc.

Good luck.
I will echo EH's comment on pacific prime. Very helpful and with some interesting options, even though i did not need them in the end.
 
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