The French health care system is highly rated by many countries around the world. France is a great example of equality thanks to the high quality of the services provided, state-of-the-art technology, medical innovations, professional competence and exceptional quality of care and resources.

As a public system, 70% of the expenses are covered by the social security (including medication, physiotherapy, etc.) whilst the remaining 30% are the patient’s responsibility. For serious or long-term illness, 100% coverage is provided. You can also get private health insurance, the Mutuelle, to cover the above mentioned 30% (including glasses, etc.). Separately, many employers offer some form of insurance program to their staff. People without private insurance pay the “Ticket modérateur” related to the amount of health expenses that are not reimbursed by the social security. Each time you visit your GP, you must take your health card with you (Carte vitale) which you can obtain when you have been paying the social security contributions for at least three months. In your health card, all the information will be recorded so that

the patient can be reimbursed for the expenses made. The patient has to cover all the expenses initially and the CPAM will reimburse the corresponding amount and inform the Mutuelle where necessary to do the same.

The CPAM (Caisse Primaire d’Assurance Maladie) is part of the Social Security though part of it is managed privately, and it covers the whole of France. For example: registration services for Social Security affiliates.


People over 16 years old, legally residing in France must be in possession of a Carte Vitale and a Social Security number. They are required to present their card every time they visit the doctor, a hospital, dentist, etc. This will guarantee a quick refund, without having to fill out related documents. The system has been modernized in recent years, and in most cases no paperwork is needed, as the Carte Vitale has a chip that transfers your data directly to the Social Security services server.

For further information, contact us.


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