British expats resident in France before January 1st, 2021, have their rights protected under the UK’s Withdrawal Agreement with the EU. But what does that mean with regards to healthcare? Do you need to apply for a Carte Vitale? Are pensioners still covered by the S1 forms? Will your EHIC card still work? Here’s everything you need to know.
Living in France after Brexit: Your Healthcare Rights
For British people already living in France before January 1st, 2021, there shouldn’t be any noticeable changes regarding your healthcare in France. As a French resident, you will already be paying French social charges and be registered in the French social security system, allowing you the same basic healthcare rights as French citizens.
If you’ve recently moved to France or have been relying on your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) (more about this below) for your healthcare cover, you must now register with the French healthcare system. Apply for your French Social Security Number and your Carte Vitale (your French social security card) at Ameli, France’s Social Security website.
To learn more about the French healthcare system, applying for your Carte Vitale, and mutuelles (top-up health insurance), head to our Healthcare zone.
Retirees in France after Brexit: Is Your Healthcare Covered?
Retirees resident in France before January 1st, 2021, will also not see any changes to their healthcare moving forwards – a big relief for pensioners who worried that the Withdrawal Agreement might not secure their rights. As before Brexit, British retirees in France receiving a UK 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 who hope to move to France after Brexit, it is unlikely that the UK will continue to offer this and even if it continues for the time being, it will be subject to change in the future. Because of this, French visa applications will likely require pensioners to have private health insurance.
Read more about Retirees and Pensions in France After Brexit.
What About My European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)?
Before Brexit, British travellers benefitted from healthcare access during travel or short stays in any EU country thanks to their European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). The good news is that this coverage will continue after Brexit and if you currently hold a valid EHIC, you can continue to use it until it expires.
If you don’t currently have an EHIC or it’s nearing its expiration date, the card you need to apply for will depend on your situation:
- If you are a British 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 UK-issued EHIC. These new UK EHIC cards are also available for UK nationals studying in France or another EU country.
All British travellers or French second-home owners resident in the UK will no longer qualify for an EHIC from 2021. However, they will still be able to access healthcare in the EU using a GHIC…
Travel in France after Brexit: Apply for Your GHIC
Introducing the GHIC or UK Global Health Insurance Card! The GHIC is the UK’s replacement for the EHIC and offers the same rights to essential or emergency healthcare while travelling 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 apply for your GHIC online.
Keep checking this page for the latest news on healthcare in France after Brexit or head to our Brexit zone to learn more about living, travelling, and buying property in France from now on.