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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone! I lived and worked for 29 years in France and have now been 14 years in Spain, about half working and half retired. I would like to return to France before Brexit hits and am wondering: as most of my pension comes from France, would I have any automatic rights to healthcare such as a French pensioner would? I have been unable to find any clear statement on official websites that would apply to my case. Has anyone out there any practical experience of a foreigner returning to France as pensioner? Merci d'avance!
 

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Hi Madrid, I don't know the answer.. would like to know why france instead of spain for retirement though. I have lived in both countries too, what advantages do you see for you in france? Its an interesting question about the healthcare of pensioners.
 

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If you are resident in France and receiving a French pension then you should be entitled to health care cover. Hope you saved your French social security number, cause you'll need that to get a Carte Vitale.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi Madrid, I don't know the answer.. would like to know why france instead of spain for retirement though. I have lived in both countries too, what advantages do you see for you in france? Its an interesting question about the healthcare of pensioners.
Hi Claudine Spanish summers just get longer and hotter...the hot spells used to have breaks with thunderstorms..now the heat seems relentless month after month...so it's basically a climate related decision. Also, between mid June to mid September the temperature doesn't fall enough at night...and I'm fed up of living in air conditioning!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
If you are resident in France and receiving a French pension then you should be entitled to health care cover. Hope you saved your French social security number, cause you'll need that to get a Carte Vitale.
Cheers,
Bev
Hi Bev I currently live in Spain but would like to return to France after 14 years' absence. If I understand you reply correctly, I may return and enjoy healthcare as though I were a French pensioner because of my 29 years' payments into the French system as employee/self employed? My French Social Security number is engraved in my memory, in spite of 14 years of non use!
 

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Also, between mid June to mid September the temperature doesn't fall enough at night...and I'm fed up of living in air conditioning!
I know the feeling, just like Texas summers and I'm glad I left them. It's nuts, everybody wears a sweater in the mall or movie in the middle of summer, the AC is so cold.
 

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As long as you have filed for and are receiving your French pension (and that whole process can take a little while to get through if you haven't already done it), you're good to go. Start with the CNAV website - but it may be necessary to follow through with your "retraite complementaire" provider, too.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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But if the OP has been working and paying contributions in Spain should it not be the last EU country in which they worked that is responsible for healthcare on retirement?
 

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But if the OP has been working and paying contributions in Spain should it not be the last EU country in which they worked that is responsible for healthcare on retirement?
It's definitely the last country in which you worked where you put in your application for retirement benefits. They should notify France and/or any other country where you have entitlements. Somehow they work it out amongst themselves - at least for the countries in the EU.

But good point, I'd kind of forgotten about that. I applied for my French pension and out of the blue got a letter from Germany saying that I could receive my German pension starting a few months earlier if I wanted. No separate application process.

So yes, the first step would be to apply in Spain for whatever is due there.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for the comments so far. I am in receipt of a small pension from Spain, a slightly better one from UK and the lion's share from France. Application for all pensions was made via Spanish Social Security as per EU rules. process was painless for Spain and UK, a nightmare for France which took over six months to resolve. My Spanish health card is "no caduca", "does not expire"(wonder if Brexit could change that?).
If I move to France, given that my main pension comes from France, I am hoping that I can obtain residency and health card without problem. I haven't found a French government web site that confirms this, since they only talk about French nationals returning to France, and my passport is UK. Oh how I regret not applying for a French passport 20 years ago while I still lived there! Any advice will be most welcome.
 

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Thanks for the comments so far. I am in receipt of a small pension from Spain, a slightly better one from UK and the lion's share from France. Application for all pensions was made via Spanish Social Security as per EU rules. process was painless for Spain and UK, a nightmare for France which took over six months to resolve. My Spanish health card is "no caduca", "does not expire"(wonder if Brexit could change that?).
If I move to France, given that my main pension comes from France, I am hoping that I can obtain residency and health card without problem. I haven't found a French government web site that confirms this, since they only talk about French nationals returning to France, and my passport is UK. Oh how I regret not applying for a French passport 20 years ago while I still lived there! Any advice will be most welcome.
If you return to France, whilst it is not necessary for EU citizens, I would advise that you apply for a carte de sejour (it would be the simplest way to prove that you were resident prior to Brexit and useful if you later apply for citizenship, which you would be able to do after 5 years' residence).
 

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Obtaining a Carte Vitale never seems to run entirely smoothly lately - but I should think that you should be able to lay claim to one once you report a change of address and start having your French pension deposited in your French bank each month.

And not that it's any comfort, but they are currently advising people to apply for their French pension six months in advance of when they want to start receiving it. So these things take time and apparently the relevant agencies are acknowledging this.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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If you return to France, whilst it is not necessary for EU citizens, I would advise that you apply for a carte de sejour (it would be the simplest way to prove that you were resident prior to Brexit and useful if you later apply for citizenship, which you would be able to do after 5 years' residence).
This does not answer the OP's question and of course there are other, equally good ways to prove when you took up residence that do not involve applying for a CdS that he does not require. His question is simple, as he receives a pension from France he wants to know if he will be treated like a French pensioner who is also a French citizen who, like he, plans to return to France when he applies to join the health system.
 

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This does not answer the OP's question and of course there are other, equally good ways to prove when you took up residence that do not involve applying for a CdS that he does not require. His question is simple, as he receives a pension from France he wants to know if he will be treated like a French pensioner who is also a French citizen who, like he, plans to return to France when he applies to join the health system.
Please note that I said it was not necessary! The question was not, as I read it, whether the OP will be treated like a France pensioner who is also a French citizen. The OP would have to go through the normal hoops (5 years residence and the application for naturalisation) to become a French citizen and is clearly aware of that.

Many of your posts almost imply that UK citizens should not apply for a CDS.

Please chill! Or do you just get a kick out of being particularly argumentative?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Please don't fight people! I perhaps over complicated my question, which boils down, in a nutshell, to Brit (really) version: " His question is simple, as he receives a pension from France he wants to know if he will be treated like a French pensioner who is also a French citizen who, like he, plans to return to France when he applies to join the health system. "
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Although the EU is supposed to be an area where it is easy to move from one country to another, in practical terms it is not simple..particularly when it is so difficult to get a straight answer to a simple question!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
BevdeForges: I quite agree with your comment about time taken to obtain French pension being six months. Took me longer and was an extremely unpleasant experience, with, in my opinion, unfounded accusations against the Spanish Social Security, then lost paperwork (in France)..but what joy when 7 months' pension arrived in one lump sum!
 

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Well perhaps the simplest thing would be to ensure you have an EHIC - AND take out private cover for several months to allow processing time. However, you should be able to get health cover here in France given you have a French person - the issue perhaps being proving residence in France.

No doubt some will not appreciate this response and TBH I haven't checked re French citizens because clearly the OP has done so. (I am a French citizen but do not have a French pension and health cover requirements have certainly changed over time - my Dad as a French citizen had no trouble getting health cover even though he was not resident in France but that was years ago).
 
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