THE British Embassy in Paris has published details of the understanding it has about how the changes to registration in the French health system will impact upon people.
Its full statement reads:
French government's new decision on access to the French healthcare system for inactive citizens from other EU countries (14/12/07)
Following representations made to the French government, we can confirm that the French Health Ministry has modified its decision regarding access to the French healthcare system for inactive citizens from other EU countries already residing in France.
According to the French Health Ministry's official revised statement and Q&A factsheet the position is:
* Inactive EU citizens already living in France and already registered and accessing healthcare via the CMU before 23 November 2007 will now be allowed to continue to do so.
* After 5 years of "regular, uninterrupted residence" in France, an EU citizen qualifies as a permanent French resident and will therefore have access to healthcare via the CMU.
* The position remains that all inactive EU citizens under retirement age living in France now or in future who are not entitled to healthcare reimbursement (through the E106 or E109 forms) or to access to the French health system will be required to have their own personal health insurance until they reach UK state pension age (and therefore qualify for entitlement to the E121 form), or until they qualify as a French resident (after 5 years of "regular, uninterrupted residence").
* We have ensured that the French authorities are fully aware of the specific circumstances of E106 holders already resident in France who do not have existing access to CMU and who may not be able to secure private health insurance for various reasons when their E106 expires. Following discussions to highlight the need for urgent clarification in cases where the E106 is due to expire imminently, we have been told that people will have the safeguard of essential immediate healthcare provision. We are expecting a response in the next few days from the Health Ministry to give further detail for people in these circumstances.
* As previously, people already over retirement age who are holders of an E121 which is registered with the French authorities will remain unaffected.
This information is based on what we have been told by the French authorities. We suggest people seek further information and advice on individual cases from one or more of the following:
CPAM - The French Health Service (English language service): +33 8 20 90 42 12
CLEISS - (France's helpdesk for international mobility and social security):
11 rue de la tour des Dames
75436 Paris cedex 09
Tel: +33 1 45 26 33 41
DWP Overseas Medical Benefits helpline International Pension Centre
Newcastle upon Tyne
Tel: +44 (0) 191 218 1999 (Monday to Friday 8am - 5pm)
Comment from HMA British Embassy, Paris: "We welcome and appreciate the French government's decision, following our representations, to allow inactive EU citizens living in France who already have access to healthcare via the CMU to continue to do so. This is good news which will bring relief to many British people living in France.
"However, we are aware that there are also British expatriates in France who are holders of E106 forms and therefore not in the CMU system.
"The Embassy has been in intensive discussions with the French Health Ministry about their situation. We have been told that this group will have the safeguard of essential immediate healthcare provision, and we hope that this information will be confirmed in the next few days."
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