Getting insured and having medical treatment

In France, health-care insurance is no doubt the best in the world! If you are insured, when you fall ill, most of your medical expenses will be refunded and often you won’t even have to pay first.

photo Université Lyon1
photo Université Lyon1
By registering at a university, you will have overall medical coverage. You will only have to pay for 30% of your medical expenses, or sometimes nothing at all if you choose to take out a complementary medical insurance which will make up the difference.

As a student, you will automatically have social security and can take out a complementary medical insurance. LMDE and SMERRA both offer social security and complementary medical insurance.

For all information, call the international relations department of your Caisse Primaire d’Assurance Maladie 69907 Lyon cedex 20 – Tel. 0 820 90 41 23), or your complementary student medical insurance company

Things you should know :
To be entitled to student social security, you must :
- be registered in an institute of higher education validated by social security
- be under 28 years of age
- be able to give official written proof that you are a legal resident in France, and a birth certificate with its official translation (except if it is in English, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese or German).

You will be registered with social security at the same time as you register with your institution of higher education.

Look into the details of the various offers of complementary health insurance before taking out a policy.

If you are already covered by social security in your country of origin for the whole university year, you do not have to register with French social security.

If you are a student from the EEA or Switzerland and have a European Health Insurance card (or document certifying this) or a certificate from a private health insurance company covering you for the entire university year (from October 1st to September 30th the following year), with no refund limit, a contract in French saying how long it is valid. Remember to validate your European Health Insurance Card on arrival in France (with CPAM or your complementary health insurance), to be entitled to complementary health care benefit.

If you are from Monaco or Quebec, you will have a conventional form.

A useful fact: French Social Security (CPAM) has set up an international relations department to deal with social rights and healthcare covered by international conventions.
CPAM Lyon - 69907 Lyon cedex – Tel. 0820 904 115
[email protected]

If you are going to be here for less than 3 months, you will go through the international relations department of the CPAM (glossary link)

If you have been living legally in France for at least three months your financial resources may entitle you to the Couverture Maladie Universelle (glossary link)

If you are hospitalized

If you have to go to hospital, you will be asked to pay 10.67 euros per day to cover the stay. This bill will be refunded if you have taken out a complementary health insurance policy (LMDE or SMERRA links)
In principle, health care is the same everywhere. However, according to the type of care centre you go to your money will be partially or totally refunded. So, except in case of emergencies, it is a good idea to get all the details before going to hospital.