Shock for ex-pats in France

  anchor 11:40 15 Dec 2007

I have just read that ex-pats resident in France for more than 36 months, will have to pay for private health insurance from January 6th next year.

The exception is for people over retirement age.

click here

I wonder if the same will apply for French residents here in the UK?.

  GANDALF <|:-)> 11:57 15 Dec 2007

If you read the comments after the article you might form the impression that it was written by a 15 year old with pretentions of literary prowess.
1) Anyone who does not like it is free to leave, the door is always open.
2) Health care is not free in France.
3) I pay private health insurance and do not bitch.
4) The cost is not onerous.
5) Live in a foreign country, live by it's rules.


  Cymro. 12:00 15 Dec 2007

It sounds like just another load of Daily Telegraph propaganda against the E.U.
Even if it is all true France is not at the end of the world and people affected could easily return to the U.K. After all that is what other ex-pats have been quick enough to do when they have found themselves in similar difficulties.

People who go abroad to live should do their homework before they go. If things get too hard for them they will soon return to the good old U.K. and then they can probably complain to their hearts content about life over here.

  anchor 15:49 15 Dec 2007

Cymro: they may well have done their homework, but who could anticipate a change in the rules. As I understand things, it is not that easy for returning ex-pats to receive free NHS treatment.

The wonderful EU led us to believe that all EU citizens would receive free, (or low cost), medical treatment in any EU country. The cover would be the equivalent as that given to the citizens of that country. This obviously is not the case now. Can you wonder why many people are disillusioned with the EU.

GANDALF is fortunate that, (a) he can afford to pay for a private health insurance, (b) he has no pre-existing medical condition that would make the premium beyond the reach of most, or would not be insurable.

  spuds 17:14 15 Dec 2007

Didn't ex-pats in Spain have a problem gaining medical services, and the Spanish government have only just resolved the problem!.

This was shown on a television documentary a short time ago, and I think that it was also mentioned that some ex-pats tried to get help on the NHS, but were refused, because they had been out of the UK for more than three years.

The bone of contention was some of these people had retired to Spain, after working and paying all their dues to the UK until retirement, then a few paragraphs in a document voided any liabilities for medical here in the UK, except for emergencies.There was also a mention about non-payers to the British tax system, who were receiving regular free medical help.

  fontenay 20:45 15 Dec 2007

anchor 'As I understand things, it is not that easy for returning ex-pats to receive free NHS treatment.'

There is absolutely no problem gaining access to the NHS if one returns to live here from France.

Regarding the comment about ex-pats 'doing their homework' - it isn't a matter of that. The French government has now changed the rules which has put many ex-pats in a difficult position.

Despite everything else it has to be acknowledged that the French health system is streets and away better than the English. Having just experienced a period with my sister requiring surgery and a stay in an NHS hospital I can only say I was horrified at the lack of cleanliness, the ineffiiency of the staff and the complete absence of after-care.
Whatever one's status one pays in some form into the health system in France and it appears to be the better for it.

  Meshuga 21:35 15 Dec 2007

I don`t know if it is generally known to forum members but an expat uk pensioner living in Spain and having their uk pension paid there also get the £200/£300 uk winter fuel allowance paid.

  Sapins 22:56 15 Dec 2007

I believe that only applies if they were receiving the allowance before they left the UK.

  Forum Editor 23:37 15 Dec 2007

I managed to cut my arm quite badly on a sheet of metal whilst touring a factory (don't ask), and had to go to hospital for a few stitches.

I was being stitched within ten minutes of my arrival by a woman who took infinite care. She had me fixed up and back on the street within an hour. I was given free coffee before I left, and explicit instructions on how to keep the wound clean, etc. It was altogether a good experience of a French hospital.

One of my wife's friends had to attend one of the big London hosptals recently, and received exactly the same service - she was seen within five minutes of her allocated appointment, and was very impressed with the way the system was working.

I'm sure there are bad French hospitals, in the same way that there are bad UK hospitals.

  josie mayhem 00:29 16 Dec 2007

I don't blame the French at all... Prehaps our government should think about limits that our own NHS limits who might be entitiled to recieve health care?

I've have been fighting for year now, It's taken a year to be able to attend a DAFNE course for my diabetes I attend that at the end of January 2008, along side this I've been fighting to be able to get a insulin pump... I will not know how I stand on this until mid January 2008!

The biggest problem I face is trying to convince not only my consultants boss, but my PCT that funding this for me is worth the cost?

And yes I am a tax payer paying into the system, but as the effects on my health from diabetes increases then this is getting more difficult...

  Meshuga 06:56 16 Dec 2007

Sapins, my daughter and son-in-law were not of pensionable age when they went to live there but when their pension started to be paid they received the fuel allowance as well. My S-I-L has since died but my daughter gets her £200. It is possible that the ruling has since changed.

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