Last year, there was a crisis when Urssaf wrote to many UK citizens who had S1 forms telling them they would have to pay for healthcare.
The reason was that, under the 2016 healthcare reform and the change to Puma, anyone permanently resident in France is automatically in the French healthcare system and Urssaf wrote to people not knowing they had S1 forms.
After Brexit, these rules will not change. Anyone permanently resident in France will be automatically in Puma – though there may be administrative work required to ensure existing cartes vitales continue to work or they may need to be exchanged for new cards.
Furthermore, those not well off will have nothing to pay unless their income from capital is more than €9,654pa.
It is the S1 cover that will end if there is no withdrawal deal – the right for residents to remain in Puma is guaranteed.
Nick LEAPMAN, Charente
Connexion replies: Hopefully you are right, and we made a similar point in the article, saying that, logically, anyone in France after Brexit who can prove legal residency status will be able to join Puma, at a fee for those with income from capital above a certain level (€9,933 for 2018 income). However, the French authorities did not confirm this explicitly, despite our questioning. The headline you quote “Pensioners told healthcare rights run out on Brexit Day” is accurate.