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Moving to France: A Guide to Healthcare

Jan 22. 2015

If you are thinking about moving abroad, especially in the long term it is likely that at some point you will require medical attention. Understanding how a Healthcare System operates could be essential to your health and quality of life overseas should you or a family member get ill at any point. That is why we have given you a brief overview of the healthcare that you can expect to be available to you, if you decide to move to France.

The health care system in France is ranked verily highly by the World Health Organization and operates on a combination of public and private funding. While many of those who reside in France are happy with the healthcare system in place, you may also choose to supplement state-provided insurance coverage with a more expensive private insurance that add extra services such as private hospital rooms, dental and eye care.

The network of public healthcare facilities in France is comprehensive, including more than 1,000 hospitals that all maintain an exceptionally high standard and there is a large emphasis on primary care. There are less waiting lists than in other countries and more freedom in the choice of doctor or specialist you want in France.

This healthcare system is funded by the public health insurance system, or Sécurité Sociale, which provides basic coverage for those who qualify and is funded by tax contributions deducted directly from your salary. Expats who are living in France and are employed, those who are self-employed but make the correct contributions and those who have reached official retirement age in their home country can all have access to the French public healthcare system. But you have to be registered at your local social security office.

The pubic system currently covers an estimated 70% of your medical bills, and over 80% of locals and foreigners use private health care to supplement the remaining 30% of medical bills. However, in France the sicker a person is the less they pay, therefore those with chronic illnesses such as diabetes and cancer will find that the government will cover up to 100% of their medical bills, including surgery, therapy and drugs.

Private healthcare is still available in France, but has little in advantage in terms of standard of care, over the public system. Although the private healthcare facilities tend to operate in private offices and some run fee-for-service practices. But the Government does hold a strong role in negotiating medical fees and costs for medicines.

If you are thinking about moving to France, why not use a trusted international mover with over 30 years’ experience. Burke Bros are here to offer you all the advice and service you need to make your move to France a happy one. Please call us on 0800 413 256.

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