The first thing that would be worth checking with the Department of Work and Pensions is the age at which you are entitled to an S1 health form, as you may find that due to your past contributions you have a right to it before normal retirement age. This would resolve the issue because retirees with the S1 are entitled to French healthcare with no ‘CSM’ (also known as a ‘Puma’ cotisation).
Secondly, even if only one of you manages to acquire the S1 form, the other can ‘piggy-back’ off the first’s registration so that you are both under the S1 system. This can continue until the date that the other can apply for the S1 in their own name.
Otherwise, it seems that those who are state retirees are not due to pay the CSM, only those who do not work and yet have other income are due to pay (or in some cases those who do some work but only have a minimal income from this).
As for the ‘social charges’ in the general sense of the term, then yes, these are due at the reduced rate of 7.4% until such time as you are no longer a liability to the French health system as a result of having the S1.
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