The social security system in France
(Please note that information may change depending on the regulations in force when you arrive in France.)
The French social protection system allows anyone residing in France on a regular basis to benefit from Social Security to cover health costs. The funding of these services is mainly provided by contributions from all employees and employers declared in France.
Social security reimburses part of the health costs (medical visits, drugs, surgical procedures) and it is advisable to take an additional health insurance, that is to say insurance to pay monthly which will complement and therefore better reimburse expenses related to health costs with different rates, for example for glasses or dental care.
Note that each major affiliate now has their own Social Security number. It is however possible to request to be attached to your spouse's insured number as a Beneficiary.
New: All Students, whatever their age, will be attached to the General Social Security Scheme!
The French social security system is basically a number of statutory schemes:
- The compulsory general scheme which covers most employees and certain other categories (students, beneficiaries of certain benefits that have progressively come under the general scheme) ;
- Various "special" schemes covering specific categories of non-agricultural workers against all or some risks (usually old-age, with other risks being covered by the general scheme).
For more information, please consult the website of the CLEISS (Centre of European and International Liaisons for Social Security), in particular the webpages dedicated to sickness insurance and accidents-at-work and occupational-diseases branch.
Affiliation to the CPAM (Primary Health Insurance Fund)
To join social security, that is to say to benefit from reimbursements on medical expenses, you must apply to the CPAM (Caisse Primaire d'Assurance Maladie).
The procedures vary depending on your personal and professional situation.