Health insurance in France is generally on a national level through their universal health care system. All residents are required to be covered under this system, which is paid for through their income taxes or payroll deductions by the employee or employer. Coverage under the universal medical insurance in France covers around 60% depending on the service, however approximately 90% purchase complementary insurance (or, l´assurance complémentaire) that will cover all or part of the remaining costs not reimbursed.
Those individuals not covered under this system must have private health insurance in France. According to the legislation, to permanently reside in France, you are legally required to have health cover. Many of the visa requirements mandate health coverage as well, to ensure that individuals are able to access and afford medical treatment.
All international students in France are required to have health insurance, either public or private. Many
international students are eligible for their universal health care coverage depending on their age, country of
origin, and length of their degree program.
To be eligible for the national health insurance in France, students must be:
If either one of these provisions are not met, an international student would be required to obtain private health insurance in France. Students from the European Economic Space are exempt from participating if they can show their valid European health insurance card (which needs to be valid for one year) or if they can show they have private health insurance in France. If foreign students are interested in the state health care, they can pay €207 (in 2012) to have the same coverage as its citizens.
Private medical insurance in France can also be secured for those individuals who are staying in France for less than 4 months, who are older than age 28, and those individuals who prefer private insurance. Remember, this will not cover you fully and most people take out complementary coverage to cover the gap.
If you choose not to go with their national health care, you will be required to take out private medical insurance in France that covers you for your healthcare expenses. As you review your options, it’s important to find a plan that will cover you for the full duration of your time in France, and that provides you with a letter that certifies your coverage.