French health changes could still bite back

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Brian Ferris

My wife and I plan to move permanently to France in spring 2009. Do we know with any certainty that we will be able obtain an E106 giving us 2 years further medical cover? This cover would take me to retirement age when presumably I will receive free medical as any French retireer will.

Craig McGinty

Hi Brian
Many thanks for your comment.

As you have most probably seen, to say with any certainty what the rules are regarding cover in France for those with an E106 form is very difficult at the moment.

Clearly your entitlement is something decided upon by the UK but whether you will receive cover in France is still a little "fluid".

I will continue to follow the story, but for in-depth and specific issues I would suggest keeping the French Health Issues website in your favourites.

And you are right that once you reach retirement age then you will be covered as normal.

All the best

Kath Linsley

Our 106 is due to finish 6 January, early retirees, husband currently in hospital following an accident with further hospitalisation and medical care needed, existing condition so will not be covered by taking out private insurance - what can we do?

Alan Bennett

Dear Brian,
Having been caught up in the turmoil regarding French health cover for inactifs, I have studied a great deal the EU and French legislation. The E106 issued by the DWP has its own rules - you, or your wife, must have contributed NIC's for the preceding 2-3 years prior to leaving the UK. I suggest you contact the DWP as early as possible to ensure you obey their rules. The E106 form is standard throughout the EU and is governed by EU rules, so France will accept it. At the age of 65 you will be in receipt of a UK pension so you need to request an E121 form from the DWP and ensure they state your wife is a dependent, unless she reaches retirement age first and has a pension entitlement, in which case she can ask for an E121 and put you down as her dependent. (note, this may still be in doubt within the new rules and has yet to be tested!)

In both the above cases (E106 and E121) the UK will pay the French authorities for your your health cover. However, they will only pay what a French citizen would pay - approximately 70% of health claims. The rest you will have to pay or have "top-up" insurance to cover the remaining 30%. This is what we have done and it works well, although some charges are paid an advance by us and re-claimed.

My further advice is, when you move to france, ensure you have a local french speaking person go with you to the local mairie and ensure they understand you will get an E121 before the E106 runs out.

Finally, look at the French health issues site (as previously advised) but the link is below

Good luck and - don't believe everything you see in the newspapers!

Craig Mcginty

Hi Alan
Many thanks for taking the time to answer people's questions, I am sure other readers will find what you've written invaluable.
All the best, Craig

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