Thousands of British expats who have moved to France for early retirement could lose their rights to free state healthcare following a change in social security laws.
The warning follows reforms brought in by French president Nicolas Sarkozy, who believes that those who choose to retire earlier than age 65 should not receive free healthcare.
Larry Fulton, chief executive of Exclusive Healthcare - a company that specialises in providing health cover for British expatriates in France – advises that many expats have received letters from France's Department for Social Security stating that, under a change of rules due to take effect on September 30, any foreign resident who had retired early would lose their right to free state healthcare.
More than 100,000 Britons are estimated to have retired to France in recent years. After two years they are required to become a resident of France and lose the right to NHS care.