THE FRENCH HEALTH SYSTEM
By Rhiannon Williamson of
One major concern that people have when considering moving or retiring abroad is the health system of the particular country they favour.
If youíre considering living in France you can rest assured that the French healthcare system is up to scratch because in 2000 it was voted the best healthcare system in the world by the World Health Organisation.
If you are a British resident and you own a holiday or second home in France and only visit the property for a few weeks at a time, you can access and benefit from the health care system in emergencies for free by completing an E111 form before you go to France. This form is available from your local post office in the UK and should be presented if you seek treatment when in France.
If on the other hand you have recently moved to live full time in France or youíre a regular visitor who stays for over 3 months at a time but you donít actually work in France, you will be able to benefit for free from the state health system by completing form E106. This cover only lasts for up to two years though, at which time you should either make voluntary contributions to the French health care system or take out private medical insurance.
Once you secure employment in France you will be registered with the state system and your employer will make the required contributions to the scheme for you. The state scheme covers the majority of medical costs but as with the UK system some consultations and prescriptions have to be paid for by the patient. If youíre self employed your contributions should be made directly by you to the caisse.
For those people considering retiring to France and who are in receipt of a pension from another EU country, their healthcare costs will usually be met by a reciprocal agreement between their originating country and France. In the case of UK nationals in receipt of the UK state pension, they can complete form E121 from the post office in the UK to register for free health care in France. A pensioner living in France who is in receipt of a French pension will qualify for free health care of course.
As mentioned the French health system does not usually cover the entire cost of every treatment. The exceptions are in the case of patients with long term or serious illness or if the patient falls into the very low income bracket. Unless treatment for any illness is carried out in a state approved hospital or medical facility it is usual for a patient to pay up front for consultations and non-emergency treatment and then to apply for a full or partial rebate from the health scheme depending on the particular treatment and how much of it is covered by the scheme.
In France the fees for doctors, dentists and other health consultants vary widely and you should check costs before you sign up with a particular practitioner. If youíre worried about paying too much and the state scheme not reimbursing you sufficiently, contact the local social security office in your town for a list of practitioners who charge the standard social security rate.
About the Author
Rhiannon Williamson is a publisher with specialist knowledge covering literally every single aspect of moving & living abroad.
From offshore investment and offshore banking to international living and buying property abroad.
Check out her site http://www.shelteroffshore.com/ to find out how you can escape from the rat race, relocate overseas, and profit from your move!