British expats residing in France before January 1, 2021 have their rights protected by the UK’s Withdrawal Agreement with the EU. But what does this mean for health care? Do you need to apply for a Carte Vitale? Are retirees still covered by S1 forms? Will your EHIC card still work? Here’s everything you need to know.
Living in France after Brexit: your health rights
For Brits already living in France before January 1, 2021, there should be no noticeable changes to your healthcare in France. As a French resident, you will already pay French social charges and be registered with the French social security system, allowing you the same basic healthcare rights as French citizens.
If you have recently moved to France or relied on your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) (more on this below) for your health coverage, you should now register with the French health system. Ask for your French social security number and your carte vitale (your French social security card) at Ameli, French social security website.
To find out more about the French health system, apply for your Carte Vitale and mutual health insurance, go to our Health area.
Retired in France after Brexit: is your health care covered?
Pensioners residing in France before January 1, 2021 will also see no change in their healthcare in the future – a big relief for pensioners who feared the Withdrawal Agreement would not guarantee their rights. As before Brexit, British pensioners in France receiving a British pension will have their healthcare covered directly by the UK.
If you have recently moved to France, you will need to request an S1 form from your UK pension fund to register for healthcare cover.
However, for retirees hoping to move to France post-Brexit, the UK is unlikely to continue to offer this and while it does for the time being, it will be subject to change in the future. For this reason, French visa applications will likely require retirees to have private health insurance.
Learn more about retirees and pensions in France after Brexit.
What about my European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)?
Prior to Brexit, British travelers had access to healthcare when traveling or for short stays in any EU country through their European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). The good news is that this cover will continue after Brexit and if you currently hold a valid EHIC you can continue to use it until it expires.
If you do not currently have an EHIC or it is approaching its expiry date, the card you should apply for will depend on your situation:
- If you are a UK resident in France, you will need to apply for a French EHIC.
- If you are a British pensioner in France and your healthcare is covered by your UK pension, you will need to apply for a new EHIC issued in UK. These new UK EHIC cards are also available for UK nationals studying in France or another EU country.
All British travelers or French owners of second homes residing in the UK will no longer be able to benefit from an EHIC from 2021. However, they will still be able to access healthcare in the EU using a GHIC…
Traveling to France after Brexit: ask for your GHIC
Introducing the GHIC or UK Global Health Insurance Card! The GHIC replaces the EHIC in the UK and provides the same rights to essential or emergency healthcare while traveling in the EU. However, unlike the EHIC, it does not provide cover in the European Economic Area (EEA), meaning you will not be covered in Switzerland, Norway, Liechtenstein or Iceland. You can request your GHIC on line.
Keep checking this page for the latest news on post-Brexit healthcare in France or visit our Brexit area to learn more about living, traveling and buying property in France from now.