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France offers some of the best healthcare in the world but making sure you can access it is important. We’ve split this article into two sections, short term (for visitors) and long term (for residents).  
If you’re visiting France on a short-term basis then it’s essential to apply for a free UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) before leaving the UK.  The GHIC card is the post-Brexit replacement for the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).  If you already have an EHIC, make sure the date is still valid. 
The NHS provides more information on how to apply for these cards here:
A GHIC or EHIC is not an alternative to travel insurance and you should have both before you travel. 
Travel Insurance:
If you’ve already booked to go to France and haven’t yet organised travel insurance then it’s worth doing so as soon as possible. Much of travel insurance's value is about protecting you BEFORE travelling, should something happen that stops you from going, in addition to providing cover once you’re abroad. 
Most travel insurance will cover the following: 

- Cancellation if you can’t travel (due to illness, jury service, covid, bereavement etc) 

- Medical costs whilst abroad

- Cutting your trip short due to an emergency

- Loss of baggage and personal items

- Personal liability (e.g accidentally hurting someone else) 


If you’re planning to be in France long-term (as a resident) then organising private healthcare cover is essential, at least to begin with. During the visa application process Non-EU nationals (that includes UK citizens) must prove healthcare insurance cover. The initial 6 months in France can be covered under the GHIC card but after this period private insurance will be required.  Once a person is legally resident in France and has received their carte vitale, they can apply for Top-Up Health cover which generally will cost less than private health care insurance.

If you would like to speak to an english-speaking medical insurance expert, just let us know and we'd be happy to put you in touch.



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