Getting health insurance when moving to France: why and how?

Starting a new life in a new country can be challenging. It involves a lot of different elements to consider, including health insurance. Let Wilson & Mark Insurance guide you through the healthcare system in France and how it works for expats.

Who needs health insurance in France?

The French government works on the basis of a universal healthcare system, which means that all French residents, including expats can access public health services.

In France, everybody can receive health treatments, regardless of age, income or status. It includes all basic medical needs, from a simple doctor’s consultation or dental routine care. French public health system offers very high quality service. The State reimburses up to 80% of statutory medical fees and works hand in hand with insurance companies who provide “complémentaires” / “mutuelles” insurance products to literally top up State reimbursements, so one is not left with large bills to pay. There are many different levels of cover . Wilson and Mark can help you decide which level answers your needs best.

How to get health insurance?

When moving to France, expats need to have had full residency for at least 3 consecutive months before they can apply for affiliation to the French health system. Affiliation process can take between 3 and 6 months (sometimes longer) depending on individual situations. When you affiliate onto the system, you obtain your social security number and can apply for a top up.

Initially, and until you are affiliated onto the French health system, you will therefore need full private health cover (as opposed to top up cover) . We work with international insurance companies such as Allianz Care, April international or Cigna offering full private health covers.

If you are employed, your situation is different . Your employer must declare and register you with the French Social Security. To do so, he might need you to provide him with some legal documents, including for instance your ID or valid passport, your French visa, the proof that you have a residence and any other documents that can prove you are living and working in France. You will be entitled to a company top up cover.

How can Wilson & Mark Insurance help you?

Understanding how French Healthcare system works can be quite difficult, especially when we don’t speak French. This is where Wilson & Mark Insurance can help you out.

We are all bilingual with work experience abroad and will help you select the most adequate health insurance cover for your own needs. We know that every situation is different, and we take time to listen, answer queries and guide you through the many products available on the market today. Whether you are planning to move to France and need a visa, have just arrived in France or have been here for a while and want to review your situation, please feel free to give us a call or send us an email.

Our offices are located in Bordeaux and Paris, we will be happy to discuss your health insurance needs and help you out the best we can wherever you live in France.

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