Jump to content
Complete France Forum

What happens if you are in another country and have no EHIC


Mrs Trellis

Recommended Posts

A month ago went to CPAM to ask for a Carte Vitale for OH who is now 65, and also requested the European Health cards.  The woman seemed helpful, wrote it all down and highlighted the holiday departure date.  I phoned the other day and was told there is no record of the health card request and to go online and order a provisional EHIC or come to the CPAM office. The Amelie.fr website refused the request but with no explanation.

I then went onto this forum and found I get EHICs from UK now.  If they'd told me a month ago I could have got them.  A friend had the same experience.  Why don't the CPAM staff know?

I also tried to get holiday insurance online but have a problem  because of the health question.   I'm having investigations, MRI etc.  No reason to expect anything nasty to happen in the 11 days in Greece - I have gallstones (which apparently many people have without knowing and are only a problem if they get stuck somewhere) and an almost certainly benign tumour which may not need any treatment.  Now I'm really worried in case I get ill in Greece and have no insurance of any kind.  I have a Carte Vitale which currently covers both of us.  I wonder if OH will ever get his!

edited for html - Mod Clair

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Can you not take out fully inclusive holiday insurance with your house insurers, just like you would if you lived in the UK to go abroad on a package holiday? I certainly would not travel anywhere without some sort of very full cover, you do not know what is around the corner at all and should the worse happen, how would the surviving spouse manage to expatriate the body - it happens all too often I am afraid, better safe than sorry and possibly losing your home with expenses incurred.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Last things first, a carte vitale relates only to the person it is issued to and is little more than a

payment convenience anyway, your attestation is what denotes your affiliation to the French health system and each of you should have your own.

It's been the case that S1 holders obtain their EHIC's from UK since May 2010 so with respect relying on CPAM to advise you on such matters was a mistake on your part and you must share the blame for the confusion.

If your OH has only recently applied for a new CV because of attaining UK state pension age then he will have to wait for DWP to send him a form to apply for a new EHIC, this can take several weeks because UK require confirmation from France that you have registered your S1 with the health service before issuing the invite.

My OH has just gone through all of this in the last few months the big difference being that we both already hold in date EHIC's anyway but we also know how the system works and so didn't waste time and effort going down blind alleys !

Her EHIC application form came just last week and of the top of my head it was some 4 or 5 weeks or so after she submitted her new S1 to CPAM.

If you find yourself in a foreign country in need of health care but without an EHIC you can contact the NHS Overseas Healthcare Team on 0191 218 1999 and if they decide that you are entitled to assistance they can fax the relevant information to the heath care provider.

Do note however that an EHIC is NOT a substitute for proper travel insurance !

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As your OH is 65, I take it that they are getting a UK pensions........... so you hand in S1's (E121's) to the CPAM?

And if you do, then you get your EHIC from the UK and not from France, these have nothing to do with the carte vitales at all. Also, EHIC's last a lot lot longer than french CEAM's so you would be better off with them.

All the info is on the EHIC UK gov website.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the comments.

Of course I now realise about the EHIC;  ours are  very out of date, I can't even find mine, and we haven't travelled much.  We moved to France in 2008 before the rules changed.

OH has been covered by my Carte Vitale for 5 years and we have had no problems.  Until recently, he used it far more than I did as he had skin cancer.

 We went to CPAM (there should be a rep in the village 3 times a month but they haven't turned up for weeks) to 1.  Apply for my husband's own carte vitale now he is 65 - taking all the certificates, S1 etc. and photographs.  The woman didn't want the photos, though my card has my photo on. 

2. Request the EHICs, see above!

I asked the local AXA office about travel insurance and was met with puzzlement, maybe we could get insurance to cover money already paid if we had to cancel.  Not for delay, loss of baggage or personal items or illness/accident.

Looking at an online comparison of UK travel insurers, they are only for UK residents. The company someone kindly recommended on this forum is the one I tried but was concerned by the health questions. One has to contact a separate organisation to explain the issues and they decide. (Haven't done that, suspect they will want info from doctors and there isn't time now.)

I don't like the idea of travelling uninsured but would be horribly disappointed to cancel now, especially as we have already paid out quite a bit of money and this is a special holiday (40th anniversary, a bit late)

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The health authority who issues the S1(E121) is the authority who issues the european health card. So for you it's definitely the UK.

Frankly I'd love a UK one as they last 5 years, whereas the french ones only last a year........if you can get your hands on one, last time it took the CPAM a full year  after applying for them to send it out!

This is the gov web page

http://www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/Healthcareabroad/EHIC/Pages/about-the-ehic.aspx

And these are from the drop down menu on that page.

I live abroad. Can I have a UK issued EHIC?

Download a form and send it off and take the phone number with you. Doesn't your car insurance include travel insurance, ours always did. Suggest that you ask.

The NHS is a residence-based healthcare system. Therefore, once you

have moved permanently away from the UK you are no longer entitled to

medical treatment under normal NHS rules.

However, if you're receiving a UK state pension or long-term

incapacity benefit, you may be entitled to healthcare paid for by the

UK. You will need to apply for form S1 (or an E121 if you are moving to

Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland), which you need to

present to the health authorities in your new country of residence. You

will then be treated on the same basis as a resident of that country.

To apply for your S1 or E121 contact the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) or The Pension Service.

You cannot apply online for your UK-issued European Health Insurance

Card (EHIC) if you live abroad. You must apply by post using form EHICE,

which should be sent to you automatically with your S1 or E121. If you

haven’t received an EHICE application, please contact the relevant

organization.

  • If you have moved abroad and are, a UK state pensioner or in

    receipt of a UK benefit, contact The Pension Service on  00 44 191 218

    7777 
  • If you have not received the EHICE application form, contact Overseas Health Care Team on 00 44 191 218 1999

Am I covered abroad even if I don't have my card with me

Yes. You are covered for travel from the date of application (if you

made your application via our telephone application line or online).

If you travel and you do not have your card with you, and treatment

becomes medically necessary during your visit, you may be issued with a

Provisional Replacement Certificate (PRC) to prove your entitlement to

the EHIC. This will be sent directly to the place of treatment.

To apply, call the Overseas Healthcare Team on 00 44 191 218 1999

(Monday to Friday, 8am–5pm). It's a good idea to save this number in

your phone.

To get a PRC, you will need to provide your name, address, date of

birth and National Insurance or NHS number (CHI number in Scotland or

Health and Care Number in Northern Ireland).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I checked the official website once I realised I have to apply to UK but as CPAM told me they were processing my EHIC application, it is now too late!  Obviously their staff do not know even though there are so many British in France the issue must arise often.

I did try getting insurance and ignoring the health question - so we'd be covered for other things - but the website didn't function properly and it wouldn't proceed to the pay section.  I sent the company a message about 3 weeks ago but had no reply.  Doesn't inspire confidence!

There was a warning that anything arising from existing conditions would not be covered but so far I have not been hospitalised or had treatment so would risk it. The GP and hospital have not suggested surgery is an urgent possibility, in fact may not be necessary at all. I told the consultant I am going away the day after the MRI scan and he seemed fine about that.  I just need to convince an insurance company.

I just wonder what would happen if one of us did need medical treatment.  With no EHIC and no insurance, presumable there could be huge bills.  Would the French system reimburse us? Or more likely the UK one?  Or nobody because of no EHIC?   Even when people have them, I bet some manage to lose them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Why not phone the British EHIC people and ask what the situation is regarding your cover and try and find out if an application is in progress

It doesn't matter if you lose the card, they would still cover you......

Last year a friend of mine died in France, ( he was from the UK ) the authorities were very helpful but it was all added stress at a sad time, in that case everything was covered, imagine if you had to pay for it as well

Chase up the travel insurance or try another company
Link to comment
Share on other sites

As Russethouse writes, you can get travel insurance even with existing serious conditions.

I've twice been to visit family in India and found a few reasonably priced insurers. Sorry can't remember the names now. Try Googling.

I'm not sure if the EHIC would cover someone going out of the EU.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you phone up about EHICs they are very helpful; our son's friend was taken to hospital after a skiing accident, and our son, who accompanied him, realised his own EHIC card was out of date. As already mentioned, confirmation of cover will be faxed out if required. Our son's new EHIC card was waiting for him on his return from skiing.

However, we had a problem with my husband's EHIC when he was rushed into hospital in France earlier this year and kept in for several days undergoing procedures. They took 75€ and photocopies of his EHIC card and passport (that in itself could make a whole chapter of a book), but refused to accept it when he was due to be discharged. I phoned Newcastle and they helpfully sent a fax immediately to confirm that my husband was fully covered, but the admin staff also refused to accept that - the documentation wasn't in French!  [:@]. No amount of discussion could persuade staff otherwise. I ended up paying a further deposit of 750€ to be able to take my husband home to the apartment. I knew perfectly well that it shouldn't happen, but if admin staff won't budge, there's no moving them.

We eventually received the cheques back, but it was a couple of months or so; only a cheque or cash was accepted - no credit or debit cards. So anyone who didn't have access to a French cheque book or that amount of cash away from home would be stuck - and anyone without French would have been totally stuck in that hospital on the administrative side. I'd heard about problems with EHIC cards not being accepted in Spain, but didn't excpect any in France.

Further contact with Newcastle brought the news that the daily charge could be refunded via our EHIC cover if we sent the itemised bill, so we're hoping to receive that back shortly - about £100.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I feel like I am going mad on this thread.

 

Firstly, the CPAM are unlikely to forward your application…….. I have

little confidence, as they cannot even issue the CEAM’s that we need, in a

reasonable amount of time. (and before anyone does…….. I don’t need other posters

saying that they get theirs quickly…….we do not…… and your CEAM’s will not work

for us!)

 

So you are again asking the question today, (see below), which I answered last

night (again see below), including a phone number, provided by the EHIC web

site. Is there really a problem with getting info from the EHIC gov people

rather than some expat web site???? 

 

And as I asked, doesn’t your car insurance cover holiday insurance? Ask

them, it will cost you nothing to do so.

 

 

Sunday at 7.54 1st Sept

Mrs Trellis said:

 

I just wonder what would happen if one of us did need medical

treatment.  With no EHIC and no insurance, presumable there could be huge

bills.  Would the French system reimburse us? Or more likely the UK

one?  Or nobody because of no EHIC?   Even when people have

them, I bet some manage to lose them.

 

 

Saturday 31st Aug at 23h59

Idun said!:

 

 

Am I covered abroad

even if I don't have my card with me

Yes. You are covered for

travel from the date of application (if you made your application via our

telephone application line or online).

If you travel and you do

not have your card with you, and treatment becomes medically necessary during

your visit, you may be issued with a Provisional Replacement Certificate (PRC)

to prove your entitlement to the EHIC. This will be sent directly to the place

of treatment.

To apply, call the Overseas

Healthcare Team on 00 44 191 218 1999 (Monday to Friday, 8am–5pm). It's a good

idea to save this number in your phone.

To get a PRC, you will need

to provide your name, address, date of birth and National Insurance or NHS

number (CHI number in Scotland or Health and Care Number in Northern Ireland).

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hang on you lot, here's the real word from someone who has a full UK old age pension, is an S1 holder, therefore gets his health cover via CPAM and his EHIC card from the UK.

UK issues a form which you take to CPAM who then administer it, and then return it to UK. BUT, BUT, BUT, here's the rub, the completed forms go via Paris which accumulates them and sends them off altogether. The result is that the whole process takes about a year.

In the meantime, UK say that if you need it, they will issue a letter, via fax to whichever hospital is concerned, to tell them that you are covered.

Of course, bloody minded administrators who won't accept these letters should have serious complaints made about them. In fact, their nails should be torn out!

If you claim your pension via France, the process is different and I don't wanna know how complicated and nasty.

It is worth telling people who mutter about foreigners in France getting their health cover free off the French system that EHIC holders are paid for by the issuing country, and that they do not need to stint on the anti-biotics or painkillers or whatever as HM Govt will fork out!
Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote user="woolybanana"]BUT, BUT, BUT, here's the rub, the completed

forms go via Paris which accumulates them and sends them off altogether.

The result is that the whole process takes about a year.[/quote]Sorry

Wooly but that is a gross generalisation which might apply in your

departement but is not necessarily reflected across the country.

As

I understand it it's the receipt by UK of the authorised form from

France which triggers the invitation to apply for a new EHIC and as I

said in OH's case that came in a matter of 4 or 5 weeks.

Others have reported either being handed or posted back their forms for them to personally submit to UK.

Vive la difference !

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There's some misinformation here.

The EHICE form (normally) comes out automatically with the S1 in the same package - well ours did anyway.  Recent experience.

You complete it and return it direct to Newcastle & one's EHIC card follows in a few weeks.  CPAM / Paris aren't involved, nor need they be, since the UK is the 'competent state'. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You're wrong.

Your link is to some kind of commercial site which adds nothing.

I say again - when an S1 is issued, you'll get an EHIC application form.  If not, just call Newcastle.

p.s. However, I'm bound to say that for the life of me, I don't know why you have to fill in another bloody form. After all, if you're issued with an S1, then they know everything that there needs to be known about you, i.e. entitlement.  The EHIC should just come automatically, with a note on the S1 covering letter saying "Its on its way".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

An update on the repayment from my husband's hospital stay early this year, today he received a letter from Newcastle to say that the whole amount is to be repaid into the bank account shortly, amounting to £122.51 - this was for the daily charge of 18€ plus 18€, a bit like 'one spoon of tea for the pot'. So that's everything that we paid to the hospital at Nimes repaid. Newcastle staff have been really helpful about these payments both by phone and fax, even ringing me back at the hospital on my mobile, as they appreciated how difficult it was for me with uncooperative hospital admin staff. We hadn't realised we could claim back the daily charge, until one of them told us when we spoke to them later, [:)]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote user="Gardian"]You're wrong.

Your link is to some kind of commercial site which adds nothing.[/quote]If you believe the information there to be at fault then for the greater good and benefit of all perhaps you could add your corrections to it where necessary below ?

Modifications to the European Health Insurance card system

 

You

probably have received, or should have received, a letter and

application form from the Overseas Healthcare Team, Dept of Works &

Pensions (DWP), Tyne View Park, Newcastle upon Tyne NE98 1BA (Tel. 0191

218 1999) entitled: “About the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) from 1 May 2010”.

For some of you it will involve a procedural change, but should

definitely not be a cause for concern as it in no way affects your

Healthcare rights within the EU, the EEA and Switzerland. The changes

discussed below have come about as a result of the European Union’s

updating and re-issue, with effect from 1 May 2010, of regulation (EC)

no. 883/2004, which coordinates Member States’ social security systems

and aims to facilitate the movement of all European citizens within the

EU. It will, furthermore, serve to reinforce co-operation on a variety

of fronts in the field of social security, including healthcare,

between the relevant administrative bodies of Member States.

 

Other Changes

Another

change made on 1 May 2010 is the grouping together of the former

E-Forms (E106, E109, and E121) into a single group called S1 - this is

only a change of name, not a change of function.
 
   

UK/S1 Holders

 

One

administrative aspect of these changes involves those UK Expats and

their family health beneficiaries, resident in France, who have

registered their EC health form S1 with their CPAM. Previously , when

they went on holiday or on business trips outside France, they used the

Carte Européenne d’Assurance Maladie (CEAM), which was  issued by

CPAM and gave access to State healthcare should it become necessary due

to illness, accident or emergency during a visit to another country

within the EU, EEA and Switzerland. The CEAM will cease to be issued to

these UK/S1 holders, who ( once they have registered their S1 at CPAM)

should then receive the above mentioned application form for a UK/EHIC

and which will fulfill the same function as the CEAM. If you do not

receive this application from DWP, then you need to ask for it. The DWP

answerphone currently states that the issue of an EHIC takes 28 days!

Each person, including children, requires an EHIC.

 

Reimbursements for UK/S1 Holders

For

any reimbursements which may be due as a result of using your EHIC, you

must now submit claims to the DWP Overseas   Healthcare Team.

When visiting the UK, if you go for treatment in an NHS hospital, make

sure you take your EHIC for presentation, otherwise you can be

charged.      

 
Those UK Expats resident in France not affected by the change

Those

resident in France and affiliated to French Social Security are issued

with a CEAM card for use when they go on holiday or business trips

outside France but within the EU/EEA/Switzerland, for example: employed

or self-employed workers in France, those in receipt of basic CMU or a

French State pension.  When visiting the UK, if you go for treatment in

an NHS hospital, make sure you take your CEAM card for presentation,

otherwise you can be charged.

 
UK Expats who stop working in France 

If you stop working in France and you receive your UK State Retirement Pension and consequently an S1, this change of situation must be notified to CPAM orRSI ( as the case may be). Your CEAM would cease to be valid and you then need to apply for a UK/EHIC.

 
Period of Validity
The EHIC is valid for 3 or 5 years. The CEAM is only valid for 1 year. It is vital to check that you hold a current and valid card.
 
DWP Letter Accompanying the Granting of your UK/S1
The above letter contains the following instruction:

"EHIC's issued by the UK authorities to you and any dependant family

member are no longer valid and should be returned to: European Health

Insurance Cards, Sandyford House, Archbold Terrace, Newcastle upon Tyne

NE2 1BF England. Once you register your S1, you and your family members

will be sent forms to apply for a new EHIC."
 
Expiry of UK/S1

If

your UK/S1 has expired, you are not entitled to carry on using a

UK/EHIC containing a later date of expiry on it. If you do use such a

UK/EHIC, you run the risk of being charged in full for treatment. There

have been instances where the UK has been asked to confirm entitlement

and DWP has had to advise that the person had no entitlement, despite

having an apparently valid ( but actually invalid) EHIC. In particular

some hospital authorities are nervous about accepting a UK/EHIC, where

heavily expensive treatment costs are involved and may contact DWP for

verification.

 
 
Travel Insurance
The 

DWP Overseas Healthcare Team advise that you should take out private

travel insurance before you visit another country, regardless of

whether or not you are covered by an EHIC as the latter does not cover

you for all contingencies, for example it does not cover  for

repatriation.
 
We

are greatly indebted to the U.K. Pension Service for their invaluable

advice and assistance in the provision of information for this article.

As always, during the introduction of a new scheme of this nature,

there will be problems of interpretation and procedure. Please inform

us of any difficulties that you may personally encounter during this

modification process and, of course, we will endeavour to keep you

informed of any further changes as rapidly as possible.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...