Ten of the top 25 study abroad destinations for US citizens are inside Europe- number four on that list is France, according to the 2011/2012 Institute of International Education’s (IIE) Open Doors report. The latest report shows that there were 17,168 US students who studied abroad in France during the last academic year- a 0.9 percent increase from the year prior.
If you’re included in the steadily growing number of students (whether from the US or not) spending a semester, year, or degree abroad in France you must make sure you have the insurance you need. Your situation, including time abroad, will determine if you need a visa and to purchase private health insurance for France, or will be eligible for the French national healthcare system.
First, let’s take a look at the requirements!
If you are under 28 years old and staying for longer than 90 days in France you might be eligible for coverage under the national healthcare system in France. There will be a few factors that play into your eligibility, but if you are younger than 28 and will be in France on a long stay student visa, it doesn’t hurt to check it out!
If you’re older than 28 years old and in France on a long stay on a student visa (more than 90 days) you are required to show proof of private health insurance. If you will be there short term, less than 90 days, you will be on the Schengen visa if you are a non-US citizen. This also means you must show proof of private health insurance to meet your Schengen Visa Insurance requirements. Your health insurance plan must meet the following requirements:
- Minimum coverage must be EUR €30 000 (equivalent to $50,000 USD)
- Coverage must be valid within the Schengen region and for the full duration of stay
- Coverage for expenses which might arise in connection with repatriation for medical reasons, urgent medical attention and/or emergency hospital treatment or death
If you need to buy a private health insurance plan that will meet these requirements you have a few options to choose from, here are a few popular options that those studying abroad in France often purchase to show proof of coverage:
Travel Medical Insurance Even if you’re study abroad trip to France is short-term, you can still have a plan that will cover you for illness and injury when the need strikes. With this plan you can choose your coverage amount and deductible, this means you can choose your plan price.
Patriot Travel- Sometimes one year of coverage just isn’t enough. This plan is renewable for up to two years for anyone studying abroad outside of their home country. It’s also a great option for those who need flexibility in coverage and price.
Student Health Insurance- If you need coverage more long-term this plan is renewable up to four years. It will also provide coverage for mental health, maternity, pre-existing condition after a short wait and organized sports.
All three plans will give you immediate access to documentation after your purchase showing proof that you have the coverage you need, or are required to have while studying abroad in France.
If you would like personalized assistance finding a health insurance plan for your study abroad in France, please contact us for assistance.