Insuring yourself

Any researcher working or living regularly in France can benefit from the coverage of medical expenses (hospitalisation, doctor, medicines…) all along his/her stay in France, for him/herself and his/her family.

This coverage is called ‘Protection Universelle MAladie’ (PUMA)

The universal health coverage ‘Protection Universelle MAladie’ simplifies the administrative process and the conditions for rights entitlement.

Thus, the employees providing proof of a professional activity may benefit from the care for medical expenses, just like the persons who are not engaged in active employment can benefit from it on the basis of their regular residency in France.

However, the French health insurance doesn’t refund all medical expenses. The refund depends on medical acts. The average reimbursement rate is 70%.

This is why it is recommended -not mandatory- to subscribe for a supplementary health insurance (‘mutuelle’), completing the refund from health insurance, or for more expensive cares. (dental/optical care, hospitalisation…)

It is highly recommended to register an attending doctor at CPAM too, in order to get better reimbursements for medical care.

The social security number

The social security number serves as an identifier in the context of your interactions with the social security bodies and with the medical world. Using this number, you may obtain the reimbursement of your health care or also receive family benefits.

The social security number is also used by employers when they declare their employees, as well as the job centre service (Pôle Emploi), supplementary health insurance organisations and health professionals (doctors, etc.)

The type of health coverage depends on your situation:

The local Health Insurance Fund (Caisse Primaire d’Assurance Maladie, CPAM) is the organisation responsible for health coverage for employees.

You must be registered with the general Social Security system.

You have to apply for eligibility (acquisition of a social security number) to the Paris CPAM.

For further details on the procedure to be followed or to obtain a list of the supporting documents to be provided for an application for entitlement, register on our EURAXESS LR platform and contact us: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Once you have been granted entitlement, you are allocated a temporary social security number, enabling you to receive your reimbursements of health expenses. A definitive social security number will then be allocated to you in the months following the application for entitlement to the CPAM.

While awaiting this definitive social security number, you have to send claims for the reimbursement of health expenses (in the form of care sheets) by post to the Paris CPAM.

The health insurance contribution is withheld directly from your salary each month.

For any other questions (reimbursement claim using care sheets, claim for daily compensation following hospitalisation, etc.), you can contact the Paris CPAM by letter to the single address and remembering to provided your social security number:

ASSURANCE MALADIE DE PARIS
75984 PARIS CEDEX 19

You can be registered with the general social security system.

You have to apply for entitlement (acquisition of a social security number) to the Paris CPAM.

For further details on the procedure to be followed or to obtain a list of the supporting documents to be provided for an application for entitlement, register on our EURAXESS LR platform and contact us: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Once entitlement has been granted, you are allocated a temporary social security number, enabling you to receive your reimbursements of health expenses. A definitive social security number will then be allocated to you in the months following the application for to the CPAM for entitlement.

While awaiting this definitive social security number, you have to send claims for the reimbursement of health expenses (in the form of care sheets) by post to the Paris CPAM.

You are entitled to the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), from your country of origin. This card is issued in your name, individual and free of charge, and is only valid for one year. Every member, including children, may have one.  It allows you to receive reimbursements for medical care and hospitalisation in accordance with the conditions for reimbursement of the French social security system.

Further information on the European Health Insurance Card

With an employment contract

Once you have arrived in France, you are entitled to Universal Health Coverage (Protection Universal Maladie, PUMA). For this, you have to be covered by the Herault Health Insurance Fund (CPAM).

Any children, who are minors, may covered at the same time as dependents.

Your spouse or your adult children may be entitled to the Universal Health Coverage (PUMA) of the French Social Security system. They have to be covered individually by the Herault Health Insurance Fund (CPAM).

For further details on the procedure to be followed or to obtain a list of the supporting documents to be provided for an application for entitlement, register on our EURAXESS LR platform and contact us: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Without an employment contract

You and your family are entitled to the Universal Health Coverage (PUMA) of the French Social Security system. You have to be covered by the Herault Health Insurance Fund (CPAM).

For further details on the procedure to be followed or to obtain a list of the supporting documents to be provided for an application for entitlement, register on our EURAXESS LR platform and contact us: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The spouses of researchers with a “family talent passport” may register with the general social security system. They have to be covered individually by the Health Insurance Fund.

For further details on the procedure to be followed or to obtain a list of the supporting documents to be provided for an application for entitlement, register on our EURAXESS LR platform and contact us: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Once entitlement has been granted, the spouse of the researcher will be allocated a temporary social security number that will enable him or her to receive his or her reimbursements of health expenses. A definitive social security number will then be allocated to him or her in the months following the application to the CPAM for entitlement.

While awaiting the definitive social security number, the spouse of the researcher has to send claims for the reimbursement of health expenses (in the form of care sheets) by post to the Paris CPAM.

Each member has to be individually covered by the CPAM. Children aged under 16 may apply for entitlement to the CPAM and have to apply to be linked to one or both of the insured parents.

For further details on the procedure to be followed or to obtain a list of the supporting documents to be provided for an application for entitlement, register on our EURAXESS LR platform and contact us: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Registration to social security (CPAM) is mandatory and free of charge for all french and international students. You can complete it online by logging in to the website of the health insurance dedicated to foreign students.

> More information on CAMPUS FRANCE official website

The spouses and children of foreign doctoral students are entitled to universal health coverage (PUMA). They have to be covered individually by the Paris CPAM.

For further details on the procedure to be followed or to obtain a list of the supporting documents to be provided for an application for entitlement, register on our EURAXESS LR platform and contact us: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Children aged under 16 may apply for entitlement to the CPAM and have to apply to be linked to one or both of the insured parents.

For further details on the procedure to be followed or to obtain a list of the supporting documents to be provided for an application for entitlement, register on our EURAXESS LR platform and contact us: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Supplementary health insurance

Obtaining private supplementary insurance enables you to be reimbursed more of the cost of more expensive medical care, which the social security system does not reimburse (dental and optical care, hospitalisation, etc.).

There is also Supplementary Universal Health Insurance (Couverture Maladie Universelle Complémentaire, CMU-C), which gives entitlement to the free of charge coverage of the supplementary portion of health expenses for persons who lack financial means.

NB: Only researchers residing in France for more than one year may apply for it (presentation of payslips for the last 12 months).

To find out if you are eligible:
www.ameli.fr/sites/default/files/formulaires/170/s3711g_version_remp_notice_daccrf.pdf

For further information, you can visit the official website for health insurance AMELI

For further information

Contact the health insurance department on 3646 or 0 811 36 36 46
www.ameli.fr
Local Hérault CPAM: 29 cours Gambetta, 34000 Montpellier

Obtaining health care in France

In France, general practitioners can be consulted for any health problem. However, if you have more specific health problems, you must go through a general practitioner who will write a referral in order for you to consult a specialist. Dentists, ophthalmologists and gynaecologists are the only exceptions and can be consulted directly without a referral. 

For information, it is important to find out in advance if the doctor is “approved”. Indeed, approved doctors have entered into an agreement with the health insurance system. Thus, you will be reimbursed more of the cost by consulting this type of doctor.

The basic cost of an appointment with an approved general practitioner: €25

Summary tables of reimbursement rates

Consult the reimbursement rules and rates of the health insurance system

Namely: Medicinal products may only be purchased in a pharmacy. Only prescribed medicinal products are reimbursed in a pharmacy. The reimbursement rate varies depending on the medicinal product.

There are two types of hospitals in France: public and private (clinic) hospitals. It is recommended to go to public hospitals or approved private clinics. Indeed, these institutions have entered into an agreement with the health insurance system. Thus, if you are covered by the CPAM, you will be reimbursed more of the cost that in non‑approved private hospitals (clinics).

At the time of payment for care, hospitals apply the “third-party payer” system, meaning that only the portion not reimbursed by the social security system is billed to the patient. It can then be reimbursed by the supplementary insurance scheme if you have it.

Summary tables of reimbursement rates

List of hospitals and clinics in the city of Montpellier

Emergency telephone numbers

Emergency medical services (SAMU): 15
Police: 17
Fire brigade: 18
European emergency number: 112

Bandeau BasDePage 2020

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