Medical fees, eco-grants, gas prices: 5 changes this May in France

We also include the French income tax declaration deadlines for residents and second-home owners and other dates coming up

We also look at changes to professional training courses, and new gas prices

New medical charges 

The level of non-reimbursable fees for a medical appointment (participation forfaitaire) is to double from €1 to €2 from May 15. 

This charge is a solidarity payment, and is not covered by social security reimbursements nor top-up insurance providers. 

However, these costs are capped at a maximum of €50 per person, per year.

Read more: Patients to pay more for doctor visits in France from May 15

More eco-renovation changes 

New changes will apply to the MaPrimeRénov’ eco-renovation scheme from May 15, relating to the diagnostic de performance énergétique (DPE, or energy efficiency audits) for properties.

This mainly includes making more properties rated ‘F’ and ‘G’ on the DPE scale (the lowest possible) eligible for grants through the scheme. 

In addition, a DPE diagnostic for a property is no longer necessary when undertaking certain renovation work, such as insulation projects or installing a new boiler. This is a temporary change and will apply until January 1, 2025.

A U-turn on using the aid for ‘monogestes’ (one-off renovation projects) will also temporarily apply until 2025. In January 2024, the government ended the use of the MaPrimeRénov’ for one-off projects, but faced backlash for doing so from professionals in the sector, leading to the announcement.

Finally, it will also be easier for those still in the process of buying a property to apply for funding in advance through the scheme.

Read more: France revamps energy renovation grants scheme to boost take-up

Benefits reevaluated

Last month, it was announced that a number of social benefits would increase by 4.6% after annual reevaluations take place.

The new amounts will be paid out from this month onwards (for benefits received after May 6) until the next reevaluations. 

These include RSA (revenu de solidarité active), the prime d’activité, aide universelle d’urgence pour les victimes de violences conjugales, and the AAH (allocation aux adultes handicapés) and ASS (allocation de solidarité spécifique).

If you already receive these benefits, you do not have to do anything to receive the new amounts, as the calculations are made automatically.

Changes to employer training budgets

People taking a course using their CPF (Compte personnel formation) will need to pay a one-off €100 fee out of their own pockets to take the training. 

Previously, all courses were free, provided you had enough money in your CPF account (or your employer offered to pay the rest).

Other changes will limit the courses people can take, if they have similar qualifications. 

For example, holders of a driving licence will no longer be able to use CPF to take a motorbike driving course, and vice versa.

As of today (April 29), the official decree detailing these changes have not yet been placed in the Journal Officiel, although the draft version of the changes said they will come into force from May 1.

Read more: Workers in France to pay €100 towards previously free training 

Gas price rise

Gas prices will rise slightly in May after falling steadily since the end of 2023. 

The benchmark gas price set out by the Commission de Régulation de l'Energie (CRE) each month will rise by 1.4% for May.

Tax declaration deadlines 

Deadlines for income declarations begin in May and, for residents, depend on the French department you live in.

For those in departments 1 - 19, the deadline is May 23, for departments 20 – 54 it is May 30. Other departments (including those overseas) have a deadline of June 6. 

Non-residents who need to declare (including second-home owners with French-sourced income) must do so by May 23. 

Those completing a paper form must send this back by May 21. 

Read more: Online income tax declarations open in France: what’s new?

European election registration

If you are eligible to vote in the European elections – you must be an EU citizen – the deadline to sign up online is May 1. You can use the form here

Alternatively, you have until May 3 to sign up through your local mairie. If you have moved since voting in France in the last European Elections (2019), you must sign up via your new address with the mairie.

The elections take place in France June 8-9.

Student scholarship deadline 

Students applying for government scholarships for the 2024 school year have until May 31 to apply. 

It is free to apply, but Service Public recommends using its online simulator to test eligibility beforehand. 

In addition, curfews for children under the age of 13 will continue in a number of communes, as well as in Nice, throughout May.

Read more: MAP: where and why are there curfews in France? Who is affected?