Moving to France? Three ways to get access to the French healthcare system

Healthcare insurance is essential for anyone planning to live in France for more than 3 months

10 May 2023

To get access to the French healthcare system, we look at the different options, including examples of how to earn a living in France. Let’s take a look:

  1. Self-employment. Working as a freelancer or being self-employed is an opportunity for those planning a move to France. Becoming a micro-entrepreneur is the simplest route, although there are other alternatives too. Be your own boss and make money from all types of activities, whether you are working online, teaching English or developing a commercial business.
  2. As an employee. If you have the appropriate competencies, training and French language skills, working as a salaried employee is another option; either for a French/international company or for a UK based business. There are shortages in a wide range of industries including the hospitality sector and other trades.
  3. Retirees and early retirees. If you are in receipt of a UK State Pension, applying for the S1 form and registering this with CPAM (Caisse Primaire d’Assurance Maladie) entitles you to access the French healthcare system. Early retirees may also apply after living in France for more than 3 months. You must supply evidence of sufficient income/resources.

Providing evidence that you have the right healthcare insurance cover in place – as well as sufficient income – is crucial when you apply for your visa and before you become resident in France. Satisfying the criteria enables you to access the French healthcare system (Protection Universelle Maladie or ‘PUMa’) and obtain your Carte Vitale.

France does not automatically recognise UK education or professional qualifications. Therefore, you need to check out your eligibility, whether you are pursuing the self-employment or salaried employee route.

Taking out Top-Up (‘mutuelle’) or private healthcare insurance is a must if you wish to live in France for more than 3 months. AXA Marthon has Special Offers available, including up to a 25% discount for retirees or those self-employed. Also, if you take out multiple policies, you could receive the cost of 5 months’ premiums on the most expensive contract!

Insurance France is the trading name of AXA Marthon. We are an English and French speaking AXA agency, taking care of your insurance so you can enjoy your life in France.

Phone: +33 (0)5 45 70 43 76



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