Navigating Insurance for EU Clients and Their Spouses: A Guide for Smooth Transitions


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Navigating Insurance for EU Clients and Their Spouses: A Guide for Smooth Transitions

Moving to France is exciting with its rich culture, beautiful landscapes, and delicious cuisine awaiting exploration. However, navigating the intricacies of insurance can feel overwhelming, especially for UK citizens, unfamiliar with the differences in coverage and regulations between the two countries. Understanding these nuances and seeking guidance can help ensure a smooth transition and avoid any unexpected gaps in coverage that could arise during your time abroad.

Firstly, from an insurance standpoint, it should be noted that many UK citizens who hold an EU passport (often an Irish passport) have never actually resided in the country associated with that passport. Which means, they may lack an Irish social security number, rendering them ineligible for an EHIC (European Health Insurance Card).

What is an EHIC?

An EHIC is a card that grants access to medically necessary, state-provided healthcare during a temporary stay in any EU country.

If you are uncertain about your eligibility for an EHIC, ask yourself these questions: Do you possess an EU passport, such as an Irish passport? If yes, do you have an active social security number associated with it? If the answer is yes to both, you are in a favorable position, ensuring direct access to the public health system in the country of residence.

If you answered no to any of these questions, such as regarding the activation status of your social security number, you must take steps to reactivate your EHIC card. If your card cannot be reactivated, you are not eligible for an EHIC which means you will need health insurance.

Securing some private medical coverage in that case ensures adequate protection against unforeseen medical expenses. Matching the coverage level to the requirements for a residence permit is something we would also advice as you’re supposed to have some sort of medical coverage when in France, whatever you are a EU citizen or not so in order to avoid potential conflicts, private medical insurance is strongly recommended.

If you are the spouse of an EU citizen and you are traveling together, you will also need insurance to ensure comprehensive coverage during your stay in France. Authorities often check your insurance documentation at the prefecture, so to circumvent any issues, it’s prudent to err on the side of caution by always advocating for insurance coverage. Ensuring a 100% acceptance rate provides peace of mind and eliminates the risk of administrative hurdles down the line.

It’s essential to note for a spouse of an EU citizen seeking a residency card (carte de séjour), the process entails a visit to the local prefecture in France. This step is crucial for establishing legal residency status and accessing essential services within the country. The application process typically takes up to 30 days for approval, so it’s wise to allocate sufficient time within the 90-day limit to avoid any potential complications, fines, or in rare cases, denial of entry to France.

In conclusion, navigating insurance for EU clients and their spouses demands attention to detail and proactive planning. By understanding the nuances of EHIC, private insurance, and residency requirements, individuals can embark on their European adventures with confidence. Remember, a bit of planning now can save you a lot of trouble later on.

Fabien is the founder of Fab Insurance, an independent insurance broker dedicated to helping the English-speaking community in France, Spain and Portugal since 2015.
Tel: +33 (0)5 33 06 29 78

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