Friday, July 15, 2011

EU forces "U turn" on French health ban

So runs the front page headline in the latest issue of The Connexion newspaper. 

The story kicked off back in 2007 when the French government suddenly decided that it no longer wanted to pay for health care for pre-retirement expats from other EU Member States.  This had a huge impact on thousands of people and the resultant media storm was quite some thing.

This weeks U turn means that early retirees will now get access to the CMU although full details still seem unclear.

In an email today staff at The Connexion said:

More details are emerging about how early retirees can regain access to state health cover in France.  The French government has published a circular with guidelines applying to expats who move here before state pension age and are not in work.

It clarifies the different ways in which an inactive EU citizen can legally live in France through French state health insurance "in certain situations".

The circular explains that access to the CMU (couverture maladie universelle) will be studied on a "case by case" basis and applicants will have to satisfy the authorities that they have sufficient income.

France was forced to change its policy of denying state healthcare rights to early retirees after the European Commission intervened. The commission is keeping a close eye on how the new rules are applied.

We will have a full analysis of what the new rules mean in the next issue of The Connexion, out on August 1.

This is not a subject that I'm expert in (nor do I ever want to be as it seems ultra complicated and specialised) but if you think it affects you then the one thing I would say is for goodness sake make sure you seek the advice of a professional.

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