Reader question: We are domiciled in France thanks to the withdrawal agreement with an S1 which covers us both because my husband was of an age to have one and I came under his as his wife.
In October I will be 66 – retirement age – and I will have to get my own S1 in my name. My question is will my S1 still be a withdrawal agreement or will my S1 be on the new rules leaving me worse off than him in the sense that I can’t use the NHS when we will be coming back to uk for weeks at a time?
An S1 form allows citizens of the EU, the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland who receive a public pension in their country of origin to transfer their right to public health insurance to France.
The form represents an agreement from that country to pay social security contributions on your behalf so that you can access healthcare in France.
British pensioners who resided in France before Brexit were of course also covered by the S1 scheme and those protected by the withdrawal agreement can continue to use it.
This means that if you already had an S1 before Brexit took effect, its terms will not change. However, this also means that if you were not yet eligible for the document before the end of the transition period, your right to an S1 under the Withdrawal Agreement is maintained.
This is on the condition that you meet the criteria for obtaining a UK S1 before Brexit and that you have not worked in France or worked long enough to qualify for a state pension there.
So your new S1 should still entitle you to the same health services as your husband.
We have contacted NHS Overseas Health Services for confirmation and will update this article when we receive a response.
Get your new S1
The UK Government states that: “If you are entitled to an S1 form as a dependent of a State pensioner, your health cover will be canceled once you start claiming your UK State pension.
“You will receive a new S1 form at your registered address from NHS Overseas Healthcare Services.
“You must save this form to ensure continued health coverage.
S1 forms can be registered with your local CPAM office. You can find more information here.
Retiring in France after Brexit
People retiring to France after Brexit are not covered by the Withdrawal Agreement, although they can still claim an S1 if they are in receipt of a UK state pension.
The difference is that this S1 does not automatically allow people who move to France after Brexit to use the NHS if they spend time in the UK.
People already residing in France before the entry into force of Brexit can, however, continue to use NHS services with their S1.
For more information on S1 forms, you can contact the Overseas Healthcare Services department here.
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