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My family and I are thinking about moving to France. We would like to base ourselves in Europe for a while and, as we both speak some French, think France would be the best place for us. We both work online so have no need to find a job as our income is the same wherever we are in the world. We are looking at moving to either Montpellier or Nice for a six month period to start with. Our plan is to enrol our son (aged three) in preschool and maybe get an Au Pair to help him pick up the language.

However, we've just found out we're expecting a second baby which complicates the move a little! We'd still like to go ahead with the move but have some concerns regarding healthcare. Being Kiwis, neither of us have private health insurance. We have travel insurance for emergencies but this doesn't cover maternity.

I've read that you have to be resident in France for three months before you are covered under the national healthcare system. Is this correct? Is there a requirement to pay into the system for three months also? We won't be working for a French company so I'm not sure how this will work.

What are the costs, paying out of pocket, for maternity care - doctor visits, midwife visits, ultrasounds etc?

Background: My husband (and son) hold both a UK and NZ passport but my husband hasn't lived in the UK for over a decade. I hold a NZ passport but have been informed by the French Embassy in NZ of the following:

"With your NZ passport, you don't need any visa to go to France. Keep with you a proof that you're related to UE citizen when you arrive at the border (airport) to show that you're entitled to stay more than 3 months (no return ticket). Once in France, apply for a (1year) residency card (EU/family member/all professional activities) at the local Prefecture."
 

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OK, you have the visa side of things knocked, being married to a UK citizen. But in France coverage in the health care system is not a function of mere residence. You will have to contribute to the cotisations system (i.e. social insurances) - and that includes health, retirement, child allocation and a few other things.

The general rule is that you are considered to be working in whatever country you are physically located in while performing the work. So, to live and work in France, you'll need to register your business in France - either as a corporation of some sort (there are LOTS of different business structures you can use) or as a branch of your NZ based business. In either event, your business will be subject to French taxes, including VAT.

There is the possibility of starting out as an AE (auto-entrepreneur), which is a simplified business structure - where you pay a percentage of your turnover each month toward social insurances. Just be aware that there are limits to this system and that once you exceed the limits, you'll have to convert your business to a regular French business entity. For more info on the AE scheme, check here: Portail officiel des auto-entrepreneurs

As any sort of French business entity, you'll need to have a French bank account, and for anything other than the AE scheme, the paperwork can take a few months to complete. Normally, it would advisable to have some sort of expat health insurance coverage for the first year (in fact that would be required if you were going the visa route).
Cheers,
Bev
 

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The CdS for the spouse of an EU citizen should normally be 5 years, not just 1 year. They cannot just give you 1 year, nilly-willy, there has to be a very good reason for them to give you just 1 year, like the sponsoring EU-citizen having only a 1 year work contract, for instance. Otherwise, 5 years it is..
 

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In answer to your questions about costs, most doctor's visits are in the range of 25 euros, with some specialists charging closer to 60-70. Doctors who are "conventionné" charge lower rates. If I remember correctly ultrasounds are around 50 euros. Bloodwork is relatively expensive. I think that if you ended up paying for everything yourself the pregnancy would run a few thousand euros.

My husband is French but when we first moved here we didn't have sécu coverage as we were not on French contracts, so we bought private health insurance. It was relatively inexpensive but many plans would exclude a pre-existing pregnancy. We used ihiBupa and I was happy with them.
 

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you need a carte vitale..I am in a similar situation..

I got my carte vitale through registering as auto entrepreneur. ..then I just pay the montly insurance....now sadly my business has not made any money this year in france....but fortunetly I have an income from the UK...which I pay tax on in the UK....as the UK and France are not subject to any double tax laws I am covered.....

Furthermore as an AE I am entitled to indemnitees journalieres which is basically maternity pay up to 6000euro...

AE is easily done online...
 

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Although originally from the US, I lived in NZ for 4 years before coming to France in June with my French husband. I was told that I had to apply for a long stay visa (1 year, "vie privée et familiale") in New Zealand, and this was after our marriage certificate and supporting documents of our relationship granted us our livert de famille. If I hadn't applied and gotten my extended stay visa in NZ, I would have had to leave France to apply for it and then return. It was only the first step in the process though, as once I arrived I had to make an appointment with immigration to finish the process and this is when I will also apply for my carte de séjour. I am sure things are different with a non French EU spouse, but you may want to double check that you can apply for the visa you want after you are already in France.
 
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