Brexit, EHIC, GHIC & Healthcare in France

Originally posted on & updated on 11th January, 2024

Starting a new life in France is a dream that many people have, but when you start to make that dream a reality, there are lots of eventualities that need to be considered, especially now that the UK has left the EU.

This blog post looks at the impact Brexit has had on French healthcare provisions, particularly for those moving from the UK, and how taking out private medical insurance or top-up healthcare can offer peace of mind to you (and family) from the moment you begin your dream life abroad.

What is the Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC)

One of the major changes to accessing healthcare in France is the replacement of the EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) which is no longer valid for UK citizens. If you have an existing EHIC card, your card will continue to be valid until its expiry date. Once it expires, you’ll need to apply for a Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) which provides access to state healthcare in the EU. EHIC and GHIC are not subsitute for travel insurance, is recommended to take travel insurance with medical cover when travelling overseas.

This card is free and continue to guarantee the rights of UK citizens to receive emergency and medically necessary healthcare when travelling in the EU. Ownership of this card is essential for anyone moving to France, particularly as new citizens to the country are not granted access to free public health until you have resided in France for three months. If you have been living in France for three months, you must register with the French healthcare system.

Consider Healthcare Medical Cover in France

Whilst Brexit has occurred with a “deal” in place, there is a period of transition between the UK and the EU for at least five years. With everything exposed for a little while longer, you may prefer to opt for private medical insurance to ensure that you and your family are cover in all eventualities.

There is a wide range of medical insurance options available from full cover, to Mutuelle which provides cover for the shortfall between the state reimbursement and the actual cost of treatment and is particularly important to cover large hospitalisation costs and prescriptions.

To help you find a suitable health insurance or top-up healthcare, especially if you aren’t confident with the French language, we offer a comprehensive English service to fulfil all your insurance needs.

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