Social security : your medical expenditure coverage

All you need to know about your social security coverage, how to get the highest reimbursement rates, and who to contact.

Membership in the French social security system is free and compulsory. It entitles you to coverage of your health care expenses for the duration of your studies… If you are european, please go to the section "I am European".

How to register

Once you have arrived in France and been issued with your certificate of enrollment by a French institute of higher education, you will be able to register on "l'Assurance Maladie"'s dedicated website, etudiant-etranger.ameli.fr.

At this time, you will need to enter the required information and upload the requested supporting documents, as determined by your circumstances and country of origin. When you have completed all of these steps, a personal account is created for you. You will be able to log in to it using the email address you provided at the time of registration. For help with registration, please refer to the "Help" section on etudiant-etranger.ameli.fr

Protecting your health

To make sure you get the most out of your health care coverage, you will need to take the following steps:

  • Order your French health insurance card ("carte Vitale"): your card will need to be updated once a year, and whenever you have a change in circumstances. You can update it at the terminals available at all local health insurance funds ("CPAM") and at most pharmacies. This guarantees that all of your information is up-to-date and streamlines the reimbursement of your health care expenses.
  • Open an ameli account (on the ameli app or on ameli.fr) to track your reimbursements, update the personal information that is crucial for smooth communications with the French health insurance system, and ask any questions by email.
  • Declare a doctor you see in France as your primary care physician ("médecin traitant") for optimum follow-up care. Your primary-care physician will prescribe the care you need and refer you to a specialist if appropriate. Your care will also be reimbursed at a higher rate.
  • Take out supplementary insurance to cover the percentage not reimbursed by "l'Assurance Maladie" and cut down on any out-of-pocket expenses.

I am European

If you have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or a temporary certification, you don't need to register on etudiant-etranger.ameli.fr. Your health expenses will be reimbursed in the same conditions as if you were in your country. Your card must be valid at least until the end of your current academic year.

If you don't have this card, you have to register on etudiant-etranger.ameli.fr

If you have a S1 form, you have to register on etudiant-etranger.ameli.fr. The S1 form is a portable document you must apply for in your country before leaving to the health institution in which you are registered. The document allows you to register to French social security. The S1 form is only for citizens from countries of the EU/EEA and Switzerland.

How to contact "l’Assurance Maladie"

If you are having trouble registering for French health insurance coverage, please call 3646 (no surcharge) Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. You can ask for an English-speaking phone representative who can set up an appointment for you.

  • ameli.fr for information on news, entitlements and how to apply, reimbursements, and health
  • Your ameli account to use all of the services available through your personal account
  • The forum ameli for any general questions
  • By calling 3646 (no surcharge) Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • In person, by going to your local health insurance fund (« CPAM »)

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