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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all,

I'm hoping that I can find the answers to my questions here, as I'm in a bit of a time crunch, and don't know where else to go. With that, here is my situation.

Both myself and my wife are US citizens, and I just accepted a 2 year post-doctoral research position in Paris. Right now, the plans are for me to head over to France, find a place to live, and then have my wife join me after banking a few months salary here in the states.

All of the reading that I've done so far suggests that my wife will need to be on my insurance for 10 months prior to receiving any maternity benefits. Is this true? And if so, what happens if she is pregnant when she moves to France? Would we still be covered, or would we have to find our own insurance since she obviously wouldn't by able to be there for 10 months prior to delivery? Would we have to pay all the costs of childbirth out of pocket? If so, does anyone know what those costs are?

I know that a lot of this depends on my employer, and I'm waiting to hear from them what exact benefits I will have, but I'm their first US post-doc, so it's almost a case of the blind leading the blind.

If anyone here has any ideas that might help me figure out how the system works, I would greatly appreciate it!

EDIT: I forgot to mention that I have not arrived in France yet, and am still in the process of getting my visa paperwork together, so I will likely not be moving until at least November/ December.

PS. I don't know if it helps with anything, but if Net salary says "X" Euros per month (welfare costs included) does that mean that I will be making more, and after welfare payments are deducted I will make "X", or does it mean that they are not paying me enough, and I will have to go on french welfare to make "X" total? I thought it was the former, but now I'm starting to have second thoughts about my interpretation. Anyways, thank you all in advance for reading this, and I am looking forward to hanging around these forums quite a bit in the next few months.
 

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OK, first you need to figure out if you're going to be covered by the French national system. Normally, that will cover you and your dependents (in your case, your wife) once you've contributed for at least 3 months or so. Once your wife gets to France, you'll have to declare her as an "ayant droit" (basically a dependent on your account) and that can take some time, simply due to the paperwork involved (and the ever present French bureaucracy).

On top of that, you'll want to have a mutuelle - for which you will pay, either through your employment or privately, on a per person insured basis. The French sécu only reimburses a portion of most medical expenses and you need a mutuelle to pick up the difference.

But net salary is gross less your "cotisations" (social insurance contributions). Those usually amount to about 20 to 25% of your gross. So, in other words, the figure they quote you as your net is 77 - 78% of your gross salary (before deductions). Your gross salary is what you have to report to the IRS as your salary. In France your taxable income is slightly higher than your net, because they let you deduct most (but not all) of your social insurance withholdings.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you so much for the help! I actually head back from my new lab, and they said that upon my arrival I will be registered with the Secu (I'm assuming that this begins my 3 month clock), and also enrolled on the Institutes Mutuelle, so I think that I'm set! (at least regarding this...)

Thanks again!
 
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