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Healthcare in France, how does it work?

You are a student coming to study in France for a short or long time ? Then you will need a Social Security number and a mutual insurance company.

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Healthcare in France : How Does It Work for Foreigners ? 

Are you a foreign student looking to benefit from the right healthcare coverage during your stay in France ? That’s a great initiative because health-related expenditures can add up quickly, especially if you don’t know the cost of medical consultations compared to your home country. 


Being sick in France means you need to seek out a general practitioner who will make a diagnosis and give you a prescription. Your doctor’s prescription will allow you to purchase drugs from your pharmacist, get full medical exams, or consult a specialist (gynaecologist, dermatologist, psychiatrist, etc.). 

As a foreign student, you’ll be spending over 3 months in France. This means your healthcare expenses can be covered by the French Social Security system also called Sécurité Sociale in french. 

Drapeau Union Européenne

As a European student or EEA citizen, you are automatically entitled to healthcare in France. You just need to ask for a European Health Insurance Card (or EHIC). This document is issued by the healthcare system in your home country, which you should turn to if you have lost your card or if it has expired. 

From another country, you need to complete the online registration process on the health insurance system’s (Assurance Maladie) website to join the compulsory insurance scheme and benefit from mandatory health insurance for free. 

Autre pays

How to Register With the Healthcare System in France ? 

If you are a foreign student from a country outside the European Economic Area, just visit the official website to apply for healthcare in France. They will provide you with a Social Security Number and a “Carte Vitale” (health insurance card) to show to your healthcare providers. 

The entire process is done online. You’ll need to provide the following documents : 

  • ID (identity card, passport, or civil status document) 
  • Residence permit 
  • Proof of income 
  • School attendance certificate for the current year 
  • IBAN for a French bank account so you can receive your healthcare reimbursements 
  • Proof of enrolment in a French educational institution 

Your registration with the healthcare system in France will come into effect within 8 to 12 weeks. 

Asking for registration
This way

What Is Covered by the Healthcare System in France ? 

Healthcare in France is governed by standardised rates, and each health service has its own. 

Based on these standardised rates, the French Social Security reimburses : 

  • 70% of the cost for consultations with a general practitioner or specialist 
  • 70% for medical procedures, 
  • 60% for paramedical procedures (radiology, nursing care, physiotherapy, etc.), 
  • 60% for small medical devices, 
  • 65% for transportation costs, 
  • 15% to 100% for medication prescribed by your GP or specialist, 
  • 80% to 100% for hospital costs. 

Some healthcare professionals may charge you more than the standardised rates.

logo ameli assurance maladie

We provide 3 different solutions for your healthcare in France depending on the duration of your stay. 

Couverture Etudiant Etranger

You don’t qualify for French Social Security registration or you’re staying in France for less than 3 months

Foreign Student Coverage (Couverture Etudiant Etranger), an all-inclusive health insurance coverage starting at €52 per month. 

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Foreign Student Healthcare

You qualify for French Social Security registration and you’re staying in France for 3 to 9 months 

Foreign Student Healthcare : a complementary insurance plan to cover your costs for healthcare in France starting at €39 per month.  

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Staying for over 9 months?

Our Hospi, Vitalité, Essentielle, or Zen complementary insurance plans are for you! They start at €4.90 per month 

Express registration