My Last Worry – Carte Vitale

carte vitale France
medical card France
medical card France
medical card France

Moving to a new country comes with its’ worries. New language, new people, and new customs and that is aside from setting the children up with everything they need with school and so forth.

Back when we meticulously completed our ‘TO DO List’ when moving to France, once here and settled into our new life, we started a new list, the ‘French TO DO List’ and everything was ticked off that one in due time, except the dreaded Medical.

It has been a thorn in my side. We tried every angle, talked to many people, as we applied and were denied at every government office in Beziers. When moving to Europe with children heaven forbid something might happen to one of us, and we’d be stuck out of pocket with medical bills. With no medical coverage we were forced to extend our travel insurance plan, and apply through Hungary for Alfonz and the children. I had to double extend my plan until I lived in Europe for a full year and then apply again in Hungary for coverage, which is part of the EU.

I figured, it won’t take a year to get on the French system as we work and live here. How hard can it be? Well it turns out 18 months in we received the last step of the application. Our numbers were set out to us after we went in with ID for a personal request and our medical cards were already in the works. We received our temporary numbers within a week. I mentioned to the lady that Daniel broke his glasses, and if there were any way to speed-up the process, we would truly appreciate it. She felt bad for us and said it will be approximately 6 weeks from now. 

Miraculously they showed up the next day! Which means next week, Daniel and Angelina’s first week of summer vacation will be full of doctors visits!

First Daniel’s glasses, but looks like Angelina needs a pair as well. My eyes could use a check-up with the amount of website reading I do, I can definitely feel my eyes deteriorating.

Then Daniel’s knees. Back home the specialist said to keep an eye on them as they seem to be growing together and not straightening out. It makes doing sports difficult, but not every kid does sports and it wasn’t a priority. With medical, if he needs a brace or special shoes, it will be affordable. My niece has a similar issue, and best to hear what the specialist in France has to say.

And lastly, Daniel had five serious ear infections throughout the course of the winter. We couldn’t take him to a specialist until it cleared up. I kept putting it off, thinking the cards will show up soon. That was in February.

I am proud to say the last tick off our French To Do List is now ticked? off!! We are now officially part of France and the medical system.


Daniel’s knees are turning back out as he grows and the specialist said we have nothing to worry about. His ears are also fine, no need for tubes or an operation like earlier suspected. We were told that many people who move to southern France catch all the bugs their first year until their bodies get used to the climate. Makes sense.

Here is an account of my hysterectomy operation.

Also for 2016 information on the French medical system and how to obtain medical as an expat please follow this link. 

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  1. Hello Shani,
    It was only after I had my job at France Fluviale that they processed our Carte Vitale cards. Before that they were not interested in my application in the slightest. It still took another 6 months after I had my contract with my employer. The best thing to do, is get a little job if you can, one that is on the books.

  2. Greetings again Eva,
    So after reading this post with regard to the medical cards, I am wondering if this is the normal turn around time to become part of the French medical system? I had read somewhere previously that if you were employed (obviously meaning not self-employed) and you worked x number of hours (I believe something like 70) you then would receive the medical card. Did the paperwork ask for medical history? Hmmm, much to become educated about!
    Kindest regards,


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