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Old 04.06.2015, 15:02
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LAMAL question (CH to France move)

Dear all,

Hoping someone can help with this. I have read many threads on this topic, but I'm not totally clear on what to do exactly, and given the situation I don't want to take any risks.

My wife and I looked at a French house just over the border from Basel with a view to moving.

The big question is about health insurance. We are both currently covered by LAMAL insurance, I work in Switzerland.

I will likely get a G permit when I move, but my wife, who is not working, but is pregnant, will not of course get a permit.

What I would like to be able to do is to continue to see our Swiss doctor and the locations that we're familiar with. Makes sense when you're pregnant right? You want to stick with what you know. I gather that French healthcare is great, but my wife and I don't yet speak much French.

Our useless insurance company didn't know anything seemingly (EasySana), one lady said that without a permit, our lass cannot see a Swiss doctor. That can't be the case though can it? There must be thousands of partners who work in Switzerland but live in the EU, don't work, but see a Swiss doctor.

Anyway, the point is that I would love to move, don't care if it costs a bit more (not a huge amount obviously), it's not about money, but I don't want to take a risk with my pregnant wife.

Any actual guidance from someone who knows would be very gratefully received. I guess because it's new, and not all situations have been commonly explored yet, people aren't sure. Annoyed with our stupid insurance group though, I mean, if they don't know.....

Thanks a lot
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Old 04.06.2015, 15:43
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Re: LAMAL question (CH to France move)

If u are.on Facebook join the group expats alsace big discussions and info on there.
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Old 04.06.2015, 15:53
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Re: LAMAL question (CH to France move)

Just requested to join in fact, a colleague of mine suggested the same.

Madness at the moment, really, so may people seem to be asking. Crazy.

cheers.
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Old 04.06.2015, 16:15
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Re: LAMAL question (CH to France move)

Expats Alsace group indeed has tons of info, most of it may not be relevant for you, as you are only just moving.


In short, yes you can keep seeing doctors in Switzerland. Unless you actively opt for health insurance in France, and opt out of Swiss insurance (there's a special for to send to Lamal for this), you and your non-working family members, like your wife, must have insurance in Switzerland.


See for example here: http://www.kvg.org/de/basel-stadt-_c...--1--1037.html
Die Versicherungspflicht erstreckt sich gemäss den Bilateralen Abkommen mit der EU auch auf nicht erwerbstätige Familienangehörige, die in einem EU- bzw. EFTA-Land wohnen.


Frontalier insurance is a different insurance product though, so you will have to change your policy. Here's some info in English: http://www.helsana.ch/en/individuals.../france?d=s0l0
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Old 04.06.2015, 16:33
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Re: LAMAL question (CH to France move)

That's a superb start Ullainga - many thanks for taking the time. I'll take a look this evening and will share here what I discover - it's amazing how little is known for sure about this change when you look around the internet....

I know a lot of French people at work are going without *any* insurance at the moment until things become more clear. Not quite the same as my situation of course, but still, it's madness isn't it?

Actually what's more amazing is that my insurance company don't have a clue either. If only they were so sketchy about collecting their cheques...
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Old 04.06.2015, 16:42
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Re: LAMAL question (CH to France move)

Tell me about it - I was caught in the middle of this madness, and I'm 8 months pregnant! So at the moment I still don't know which hospital I can go to.


But in your case, things should not be so complicated - you are only just moving, you and your wife have the right to choose between French and Swiss insurance. Good luck with the baby!
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Old 04.06.2015, 17:17
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Re: LAMAL question (CH to France move)

The right of frontaliers to have private insurance in France has been withdrawn, for most of us from the start of this month. Those of us (most) who had private insurance up until now are obliged in 99% of cases to transfer to the French system. Apparently they are only 6 months or so behind processing all the applications from frontaliers who have been forced to change (mine included...). However: in your case you have never had French private insurance so you are entitled to stick with the Lamal.
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Old 04.06.2015, 17:21
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Re: LAMAL question (CH to France move)

A quick follow up question - how easy is it to change your insurance policy?

Perhaps it's different if you're moving, but I vaguely recall previously they're quite tight on changing, certainly to another provider - there's maybe a window once a year or something. As I say, perhaps this is exceptional.

Thanks again, and I can't imagine having this unresolved whilst being 8 months pregnant, must have fair ruffled your savoir faire alright!*

*I'm trying with the French...
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Old 04.06.2015, 17:23
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Re: LAMAL question (CH to France move)

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The right of frontaliers to have private insurance in France has been withdrawn, for most of us from the start of this month. Those of us (most) who had private insurance up until now are obliged in 99% of cases to transfer to the French system. Apparently they are only 6 months or so behind processing all the applications from frontaliers who have been forced to change (mine included...). However: in your case you have never had French private insurance so you are entitled to stick with the Lamal.
Gotcha - this part of the murky mess is pretty clear. Specifically, it's about my policy, the lack of Swiss permit for my wife and the desire for her to continue to see a doctor in Switzerland.

I know I'm in a much easier place than a lot of people who were caught cold by this, I have a choice.
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Old 04.06.2015, 17:26
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Swiss Supreme Court recently decided that this is actually not the case. If you did not fill out the form to actively reject Lamal and choose French insurance, then just signing up with French Private insurance is not considered exercising your right to choose.
Letter from Bunbdesamt für Gesundheit confirming this:
http://www.google.ch/url?sa=t&rct=j&...HW2jP5Xwq5vlQQ

So if you want to go for Swiss insurance instead and have not expressly asked to be exempted in the past, you still have the option. Only thing still open is what the French think of this..

Last edited by Ace1; 05.06.2015 at 11:41. Reason: fixing link
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Old 04.06.2015, 17:50
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Re: LAMAL question (CH to France move)

I've read this as well, but apparently even so not all requests are being accepted, I suspect it only applies to those who were signed up to Lamal before (not me, then) and there is also the question of a Swiss court's jurisdiction in France.
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Old 04.06.2015, 18:19
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Re: LAMAL question (CH to France move)

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A quick follow up question - how easy is it to change your insurance policy?

If I now remember correctly, the insurance company wanted to see proof of moving (deregistration) to cancel the health insurance with a shorter notice period.
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Old 04.06.2015, 18:23
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Re: LAMAL question (CH to France move)

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I've read this as well, but apparently even so not all requests are being accepted, I suspect it only applies to those who were signed up to Lamal before (not me, then) and there is also the question of a Swiss court's jurisdiction in France.


Different cantons certainly seem to have a different approach - my request was accepted by Basel-Stadt, even though I was in French private before, and then joined CMU. I know someone whose similar request was denied by Basel-Land though.
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Old 04.06.2015, 18:25
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Re: LAMAL question (CH to France move)

I have to agree with ullainga, if you have made no move to withdraw from LAMaL then you will still be covered in Switzerland. Whichever health system you decide to join, your wife will have to follow if she is not working.

If you move to France, you will have to visit an Assurance-Maladie office, the nearest one is in Saint-Louis, and bring form E107 given to you by your Swiss health insurer. You'll also need to hand them your original birth certificates, and if they are not in French, you will need to have them translated by a sworn translator (you can get a quote from several around the area). Please check the translations as sometimes they come back to you with mistakes. The backlog to have your case processed is about 6 months to a year, you'll also only get your original birth certificates at that time, so do make certified copies. You can go to the Mairie when you go register after your move with your original certificates and the copies to get them stamped. From what I gather, you'll need almost the same paperwork if you choose to join the French system.

If I understood correctly, you still need to register in France, but your situation will be different from a person whose health insurance is "la Sécu". You will receive Vitale cards (French health insurance cards) for you and your wife, in case you need to get care in France. Having these cards will allow you to get care and have them charge your health insurer directly. If you join the French system (if that is the way you decide to go) it will cost 6% of your monthly salary; starting Jan 1st 2016, it will jump to 8%.

As for where to get care here, I'm not a fan of french hospitals. But if you must know, the best ones are in Colmar or Strasbourg. The nearest maternity wards are in Mulhouse (Hasenrain or Diaconat). The ward in Saint-Louis has been closed for over a year. Having visited several wards on a few occasion, I can tell you that the philosophy here is very much prevention, even when is comes to medication, and lawsuits. All depending on what type of care is expected and how you view the birthing process, I suggest asking around to see if the French system suits your wife.

I'm sorry if this whole post is not clear, I came on the forum to check something else but after reading this thread, I felt like I had to answer.

Good luck!
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Old 04.06.2015, 18:35
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Re: LAMAL question (CH to France move)

Great effort for a first post here though MTL. They'll love you around here for that.

Thanks - I have heard this about registering in France also, regardless of where you go for treatment. Just to be on the books, and if you use a French pharmacy.

The question then's distilled a bit, can you still use a Swiss doctor, on your insurance, even though you live outside Switzerland.

Our insurance had a stab at this one, mentioned some increase in costs (to be expected) but they were so ham-fisted in their general response I can't take what they're saying as gospel.

I have my HR group having a look at this now though - perhaps they can unravel the mystery.

If they do though, obviously I'll share it.

thanks again
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Old 04.06.2015, 18:54
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Re: LAMAL question (CH to France move)

Minor point: I didn't need to get my UK birth certificate translated to register with the CMU. In fact, since my long form certificate was elsewhere I sent them the short form and they haven't complained. Since it was an original document they sent it back to me quite rapidly (two weeks as I recall). A Spanish colleague equally did not have to get her certificate translated.

note: quoting not working for me
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Old 04.06.2015, 18:55
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Re: LAMAL question (CH to France move)

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Great effort for a first post here though MTL. They'll love you around here for that.
Gee, chucks

As for keeping your Swiss doctor, yes, of course you get to keep your swiss doctor. My husband has a chronic condition and has kept his swiss doctor as well as his therapy which was a great concern for us given that it is not a common therapy. He opted to keep his CMU coverage for this reason. I have to mention that the Assurance-maladie had reassured us that he could keep seeing his Swiss doctor, but we were concerned that any changes to his current therapy would cause much grief in paperwork and wait.

As for the increase in cost, I don't quite see how that should be. Unless they are trying to sell you the traveller package. If you are insured in Switzerland, you can still get care in France, but the insurance may not cover you completely if at all. You should take a look at your insurance coverage.

A consultation with a general practitioner or dentist in France costs about 23€, in case you are wondering.

Best of luck to you!
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Old 04.06.2015, 18:59
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Re: LAMAL question (CH to France move)

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Minor point: I didn't need to get my UK birth certificate translated to register with the CMU. In fact, since my long form certificate was elsewhere I sent them the short form and they haven't complained. Since it was an original document they sent it back to me quite rapidly (two weeks as I recall). A Spanish colleague equally did not have to get her certificate translated.

note: quoting not working for me
Lucky you! We have Chilean, English Canadian and American birth certificates, all need to get translated. This after visiting the office of l'Assurance-Maladie in Saint-Louis. I'm in the middle of the paperwork now.
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Old 04.06.2015, 19:01
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Re: LAMAL question (CH to France move)

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He opted to keep his CMU coverage for this reason.
AArgh! I meant to say that he opted to keep his LaMAL coverage. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

Err… newbie...
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Old 04.06.2015, 19:05
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Re: LAMAL question (CH to France move)

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Lucky you! We have Chilean, English Canadian and American birth certificates, all need to get translated. This after visiting the office of l'Assurance-Maladie in Saint-Louis. I'm in the middle of the paperwork now.
Must be an EU/non-EU issue rather than language then.

note: quoting working again! weird.
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