We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Healthcare for Americans living in France

Saint Genis des...
Level Contributor
23 posts
3 reviews
Save Topic
Healthcare for Americans living in France

I am an ex-pat American living in France. I am curious to know what other ex-pats do for healthcare here. I am retired & on Medicare, which covers me when I am in the states (not often), but not in France. That has worked ok so far - I am healthy & I visit my doctor, dentist, etc when I am in the states. What happens when I get sick here? I understand the healthcare in France is the best in the world, but as far as I can tell, I cannot access it unless I pay out of pocket. Has anyone else faced & solved this problem?

California
Destination Expert
for Grasse
Level Contributor
8,138 posts
68 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Healthcare for Americans living in France

You would need to buy private health insurance to cover you while in France.

Tampa, Florida
Level Contributor
36,056 posts
10 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Healthcare for Americans living in France

we had BUPA. Not great, but better than nothing.

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
23,029 posts
76 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Healthcare for Americans living in France

to get a long term Visa as an expat you are supposed to have to buy health insurance that is equal in benefits to what the French system provides its citizens. We looked into that and it is very expensive. I am not sure how you get to legally be an expat in France without having demonstrated that you have such insurance. My medigap policy with my medicare will cover me for up to 60 days in another country -- beyond that I have to have travel insurance or other health insurance to cover. expats are supposed to purchase a health care policy.

Le Bugue, France
Level Contributor
14,097 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Healthcare for Americans living in France

How did you even get to be an expat in France without proving you had health insurance? My husband, according to the French Consulate, is going to have to prove he has health insurance (plus a bunch of other things), when we move to France in order to get a carte de résidence.

Paris, France
Level Contributor
16,583 posts
19 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Healthcare for Americans living in France

I'd love to know too how you were able to get a long-stay Visa with providing proof of health insurance.

Tampa, Florida
Level Contributor
36,056 posts
10 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Healthcare for Americans living in France

me, too -- proof of insurance was one of the very first documents they asked us for when we **applied** for a visa, as well as every time we went in to renew our papers.

(not only that...it might be cheaper in France than in the US....but the big stuff is expensive no matter where!)

Paris, France
Destination Expert
for Paris, Loire Valley
Level Contributor
20,837 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Healthcare for Americans living in France

I believe that if one has repatriation insurance or a policy that will cover returning one to his home country in the event of a medical emergency, the medical insurance requirement is met. Still it´s an insurance policy.

Luckily, for anyone from the US living or even just visiting in France, a visit to the doctor will probably cost less than it might at home.

Saint Genis des...
Level Contributor
23 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Healthcare for Americans living in France

Thank you, Sunshine! I will look in to BUPA.

Edited: 07 March 2014, 12:51
Saint Genis des...
Level Contributor
23 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Healthcare for Americans living in France

Sarastro, we do have repatriation insurance, & can get to the US in case of medical emergency. We are hoping to find reasonable insurance to cover us here. My point, which may have been misunderstood by some of the other respondents - maybe my own fault for not being clear - is that we are looking to be covered by the French medical system for everyday concerns as well as for the more serious issues which may arise in the future. Thanks for your response.

Tampa, Florida
Level Contributor
36,056 posts
10 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Healthcare for Americans living in France

You are not going to be covered by the French medical system unless you are working and contributing to the French medical system.

Best you can do is find a policy that **reimburses** you for everyday medical care from French providers -- there isn't a program out that will allow the doctor to bill the insurance company -- even with BUPA, you pay and file for reimbursement