Health coverage in France

Expats in France can expect to benefit from a high-quality universal healthcare system that is accessible even to foreign residents (as long as they are not covered by the social security system of another country). Many expats also choose to “top up” their state coverage with private insurance, so they can enjoy full coverage for their medical needs, including specialist treatments and dental care.

Get a quote according to the length of your stay:

Health insurance for expats in France

How does the healthcare system work in France?

Expats who work in France, or have resided there for at least three months, can access France’s Social Security through the Protection Universelle Maladie (PUMa) system.

Through PUMa, foreign nationals living in France can obtain a Social Security number and a "Carte Vitale" (health insurance card). Then, they can benefit from the reimbursement of their health costs. However, the French healthcare system generally only covers a certain percentage of the expenses incurred.

When residents choose a GP and declare this choice to Social Security, they are usually reimbursed for 70% of the cost of their medical consultations, both in the public and private sectors. This also applies to specialists if the patient is referred by their GP. However, if the patient does not choose a GP or goes to specialists without a referral, they will be reimbursed at a much lower rate. Hospitalisation costs are covered at around 80% (excluding comfort costs such as single rooms).

In addition, doctors, whether in private practice or in hospital, can charge different rates depending on the category in which they practise: Sector 1, Sector 2, or Sector 3. Sector 2 and 3 doctors can charge extra fees, which are not covered by Social Security.

> Read also: Universal health protection (PUMa), a system available to expats residing in France

How to choose health insurance in France: local or international?

Given the complexity of French healthcare and the fact that most treatments are not fully covered by the public system, many policyholders opt for complementary private health insurance. This will allow for peace of mind and flexibility when selecting a doctor, and provide coverage for important healthcare services, such as dental care, and more comfortable care in hospitals (such as a private room), without having to worry about additional fees.

French employers are required to offer complementary French health insurance to their employees, which they must finance at least up to 50% (and which sometimes covers dependants as well). But these insurance packages are often basic and thus insufficient. As a result, employees often seek out a second insurance provider to ensure they are fully covered. 

For foreign residents, choosing international health insurance also offers more advantages than local health insurance. International health insurance providers understand the unique needs of expats, offer more robust coverage, and may also cover you outside of France. 

What is the cost of healthcare in France?

Liste exemple remboursements

SPECIALIST CONSULTATION

A visit to a specialist doctor will cost you an average of €80 (US$93)

APRIL International up to 80 €*

Out-of-pocket expenses 0€**

HOSPITALISATION - APPENDICITIS

An appendectomy with a 5-day hospital stay will cost you between €6,000 and €8,000 ($,7000 to $9,300)

APRIL International up to 8000 €*

Out-of-pocket expenses 0€**

HOSPITALISATION - MATERNITY

A natural delivery without complications, with 3 days of hospitalisation, costs on average €6,000 (USD 7,000)

APRIL International up to 6000 €*

Out-of-pocket expenses 0€**

Disclaimer

Reasonable costs of care in the private sector, APRIL International data 01/2022

 

* Example of reimbursement with MyHealth International - Comfort

** Example of the amount to be paid by the insured after reimbursement

Care in France

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Care in France
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Choosing hospitals in France
 

In France, both the public and private sectors offer high-quality care. Every year, the French newspaper Le Point publishes a list of the best hospitals and clinics, based on a number of criteria (specialities, reputation, equipment, etc.). In 2021, all criteria considered, the Toulouse University Hospital, the Bordeaux University Hospital, and the Lille University Hospital ranked in the top 3 positions.

However, public hospitals are often overwhelmed with demand, especially for emergencies. For this reason, many people prefer to use private hospitals.

Remember that to consult a specialist you must always go through your médecin traitant. Otherwise, you will be less well reimbursed by Social Security (except in emergencies).

Titre phone establishment list
Health facilities

Phone establishment list

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Emergency numbers in France

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Ambulance
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Police
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General emergencies can be contacted on 112, as in the whole European Union

A broad care network in Europe

APRIL International has an extensive network of hospitals, clinics, and healthcare providers where you can benefit from direct billing services and high quality care across the world.

To find your nearest health professional or partner establishment in just a few clicks, go to your Easy Claim application.

Services group
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FLEXIBLE PROTECTION
Description
Reimbursement of health expenses from the first euro/dollar, including in private hospitals
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TRAVEL WITH PEACE OF MIND
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Coverage in France, or even in other countries
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OPTICAL & DENTAL
Description
Reimbursement of optical and dental care (option)
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UNLIMITED TELEMEDICINE SERVICE
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A free medical telemedicine service available 24/7 anywhere in the world
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MEDICAL TRANSPORT
Description
Repatriation assistance included in your benefits
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DIRECT BILLING
Description
In the event of hospitalisation, you pay nothing out of pocket

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