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Health Insurance in France for International Students

France has a good healthcare system and it is open to domestic as well as foreign students.  It has generous terms and conditions so that students can live healthy lives while they study in France.

France’s Health-care System or “la securite sociale”

Health insurance in France is affordable and top quality. The health insurance is subsidized by the French government. It is provided under the national security system called securite sociale. Enrolment to the national security system is automatic upon the registration for classes at the beginning of the year. It is included in the tuition fees. The security system provides 60 to 80 percent of the expenses incurred in the treatment of illness.

International students must be younger than 28 years old to enrol in the national healthcare system.  Students must be enrolled in a program for at least 4 months to a higher educational institution that has been granted approval. French healthcare coverage is extensive. Payments reached €211 in 2013/2014. Participation is compulsory for non-European students. Students from countries other than those in the European Economic Space are exempted from participation if they hold a European health insurance card or temporary certificate for an entire year or a certificate of private insurance for full coverage.  The social security system provides reimbursement for 60% of the expenses.

Students above 28 years of age can apply for health cover extension for up to a maximum of 4 years. The extension request must be made to the office of the health insurance fund or CPAM/"Caisse primaire d'assurance maladie." Students who are enrolled in any of the programs lasting for up to 4 months in non-participating higher educational institutions must opt for private insurance. Premiums for this type of insurance are around €150 to €550. Students may benefit from universal medical coverage or CMU/"Couverture Medicale Universelle" for a special annual premium. Students benefiting from scholarships from the French government or those that are managed by Campus France do not have to pay for their insurance cover.

Other Supplemental Health Insurance

Apart from national healthcare, international students can also opt for supplemental health insurance for expenses that are not covered otherwise. Supplemental plans cost €200 on an average.  The largest student group health plans are the LMDE (La Mutuelle des Etudiants) EmeVia (Le reseau national des mutuelles etudiantes de proximite and Smerep. The LMDE is a national student group health plan for more than 800,000 students.

Conclusion

Health insurance is a viable option for students in France. Subject to certain conditions, foreign students in France can opt for the national insurance plan. Other than this, there are supplemental insurance plans which students can also benefit from. For those who are above 28 years of age, there are a few other options for health insurance. The health insurance options for those who are enrolled in programs for less than 4 months are very different. The premiums are manageable and students can easily get a good health coverage for the duration of their stay in France.
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