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Health care for expats (Lyon)

After expensive searching we've finally decided that we'd like to relocate to Annecy. Having spent a couple of years researching and visiting various places, we decided that this fits the bill for us, much to our relief.
However, on doing further research about moving to France, we've seen a couple of articles about British expats no longer having the right to free healthcare if they're under the official retirement age. My husband took early retirement last year, now aged 58, and I've been a student with the Open University for the past 4 years (now aged 56).
According to what we've read on various websites, this means that we DON"T qualify for health care under the French system, so we'd have to buy private health insurance. We've had a quote from BUPA which would be about £800 per month for us as a couple!
We're gutted that this seems to be a major stumbling block, and are wondering how other expats are dealing with this?
Any advice?
We'd hate to give up our dream after searching for so long
A & R

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