It has probably happened to you as well : you arrive in France and have to find your way in all the rules concerning living, residency, taxation and of course… taxes. What about health insurance? What is an S1 form and when does it give you tax advantages? We will explain that for you here.
The moment you live in France, you can apply for health insurance at the Caisse Primaire d’Assurance Maladie (CPAM). After a few months you will receive a carte vitale, which covers part of your medical expenses.
This does not mean that it is for free. Everyone living in France has to pay social contributions on their income at the rate of 17.2%.
In some cases, it is more beneficial for you if you have an S1 form, as this exempts you from a certain percentage of social contributions on different types of foreign income.
What is an S1 form?
An S1 form is a form for pensioners, which is a health insurance agreement between your home country in the EEA and France. You are part of the French health care system and get a carte vitale, but when someone with an S1 form incurs medical expenses in France, these expenses are paid by the country of origin. But please be aware that not all costs are automatically covered.
When are you eligible for an S1 form?
You can apply for an S1 form when you are retired and no longer carry out a professional activity. The moment you start your own business in France, you are not eligible, even if you are at retirement age.
What are the benefits?
The moment you own a property outside France that you rent out, you have to pay social contributions in France. In the case of an S1 form, you do not have to pay this.
The use of the S1 also exempts you from the payment of social charges on several other types of income.
One other benefit of an S1 is that you retain your rights to healthcare in the UK, as if you were ordinarily resident in the UK.
Of course, if you are from the UK, it is always a good idea to contact the NHS Business Services Authority to see if you qualify for this form.