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That depends, Tigerfeet.  If you are on CMU de base (quite rare for the average French person) then yes, you pay 8%.  CMU complementaire, you pay nothing.  If early retired, then they pay the same. However, most French workers are covered by work-based schemes or pay cotisations if they are self-employed or run businesses.  Then I believe the health contributions are more like 12% but somebody who is actually working would know better.

There are some statistics on the CMU site HERE which give the numbers of people on CMU and they are not high. The CMU is simply a safety net scheme for anybody who does not qualify for a work based or other scheme (which group included many of us until very recently.)

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There is, as you rightly say, a health contribution of 8% of income (above a certain figure). But this applies, or more exactly has applied up to now, to non-active people.

If you work, you cannot consider the health contribution in isolation. It is one of many compulsory contributions, the cotisations, which are often referred to on these forums, and a look at a French pay slip will show there are around 16 separate items, all of which have to be paid by every worker. If you are employed, you will pay around 20% of taxable income in cotisations, with a further 40% or so from your employer. If you are self employed then a typical figure is around 45%. Note that income tax is not included in cotisations.

Cooperlola is correct - the health-related parts of the cotisations are reckoned to total around 12%. But you cannot pay just these.

Note that although CRDS/CSG/PS (often referred to as the 'social charge' or 'social contribution') is included in the workers' cotisations this is a levy which does not by itself entitle you to health care. If you are liable to this charge at a different rate, e.g. on investment income, you pay this separately.

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It is, I am sure, one of the - quite logical if you think about it - reasons for the French Government having made this move.  If one thinks about it, one pays taxes and other charges - of whatever sort, dependent upon where you were born, have lived, and worked - thoughout one's life, as a buffer for the days when one will no longer work.  As Will quite correctly points out, these charges here in France cover all sorts of things besides health - retirement provision amongst others.  To my mind the FG has looked at the 8% which non French early retirees pay towards healthcare, and sees this as a pretty meagre contribution to the coffers when one stacks it up against what the average worker (of whatever nationality) pays throughout his lifetime.  The fact that we have paid in the UK has, if you think about it, done nothing for the French economy.

Most of us have paid a lot of tax and many contributions to our own country's economy throughout our productive years, and now the French health service is taking the strain during what one might logically see as our most "risky" years - ie now we are older.  Not until we reach UK state pensionable age, will the FG get paid for this - via our E121 per capita payments.  The fact that we contribute 8% may be seen, certainly from a political point of view, as quite low compared to what the French pay, as we do not pay other cotis unless we work.  Although we don't see any benefit from these payments either (no social security, retirement pension or anything else from the FG), neither do people who only work here for a few years - as I'm sure people like Will can confirm.

I'm not convinced that telling non French EU nationals to get private healthcare solves this problem, but I can certainly understand where the thing began and why.

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Hi Cooperlola,

Excellently put and I guess very generous to the FG.  After all the FG has

previously worked out the ‘sums’ and dictated the laws on how we have had to

pay. We have done what they have wanted! The short-medium term problem of the healthcare budget deficits

causing the FG hassles is one thing but to ‘carte blache’ eject EU citizens is

evidence of ‘knee jerk’ and not thought through policy.  Look how long it is taking them to make the 'final' decision.

Personally I will be looking forward to the next annual budget figures to see

how much improvement has been made, if any.

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Don't get me wrong, I believe it is morally indefensible.  Like you, I also think it will do nothing for the French out-of-control health budget.  Traditionally, I suspect (although there are no facts for this in evidence) that we Brits are in fact much less devil-may-care about the way in which we use the health system than are our French counterparts who appear - although this may be more myth than fact - to pop pills and visit gp's, take more "cures" etc than we do.  Also, because we are covered by E121's once we reach the truly critical age for long-term illness, I doubt very much whether overall we do represent a real burden on the state.

If the long-awaited statement allows those with chronic conditions to remain within the CMU but excludes the healthy in the future - as we suspect - then in fact I imagine this will have a negative budgetary effect, not a positive one.  Utter madness.

However, if I were a right wing politician with M. Sarkozy's apparent agenda (hell would freeze over first), I would have been tempted to do a similar thing I suppose, although I hope my strategy for implementation would have been somewhat less clumsy.

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Since I wrote this this morning, the long-awaited statement has been further delayed, due apparently to the fact that the bureaucrats whose job it is to implement the revised rules, seem to understand rather better than the ministry, its financial, administrative and legal implications. The totally befuddled nature of the implementation of this whole sorry mess, is not lost on them it seems.


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