French Healthcare System

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French Healthcare System

France has an excellent health system and infrastructure. Around 75% of the French healthcare system is funded by social security contributions which are deducted from your salary, or if you’re self-employed/retired, you need to contact the Regime Social des Indépendants (RSI) to arrange paying contributions. The rest is privately funded through private health insurance.



By law all residents and citizens are required to have health insurance, whether using private or state healthcare. After living in France for 3 months, non-nationals can apply for their family to be covered by the ‘PUMa’, Protection Universelle Maladie.

Once registered you’ll be issued with a carte vitale. This is a green, plastic health insurance card that has your photo and an embedded chip with information such as your name, address, social security number. It doesn’t contain any of your medical information.


Health Card – Carte Vitale

You’ll need to present your carte vitale at any healthcare appointment or hospital in order to access free healthcare or claim a reimbursement.

In general the French health system has much lower waiting times than we’re used to in the UK for both scheduled operations and services like A&E.


All the above information was correct at the time of writing. French legislation is liable to change and we recommend you check with the correct French authorities in regards to all legal requirements prior to your move to France.



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