In France, all residents can benefit from the healthcare system and health insurance scheme. France’s universal hybrid healthcare system is considered one of the best in the world, with high-quality medical care.
When you visit the doctor, the healthcare system will typically cover 70% of the fees and 80% of hospital costs. If you have a major illness, 100% of the expenses are covered. This is because France operates on the principle of solidarity: the most ill will usually pay the least, preventing them from becoming financially disadvantaged. The remainder is covered by either the individual or by supplementary private health insurance. There is a small fee that is paid for by the patient: 1€, for example, per doctor visit.
You will need to register to French Social Security in order to benefit from this system as an international student.
REGISTERING TO FRENCH SOCIAL SECURITY (CPAM)
You may think that registering to French Social Security will not be an easy path to follow… Therefore, we have prepared a guide which will detail all the steps you will need to follow!
Find the CPAM process detailled at the end of the article.
MAKING AN APPOINTMENT AT THE DOCTOR
We highly recommend using the Doctolib : Prenez rendez-vous en ligne chez un praticien to make a doctor’s appointment as it allows you to select the type of doctor or specialist you require and schedule your appointment directly.
This platform is only available in French, but you can select the language spoken by the doctor (only on the website, function not available on the application).
In the search bar, type "médecin généraliste" and select your city. You can then filter by language spoken (“langues parlées”) to make sure you can easily express your needs to the practitioner during the consultation. Once you have chosen the doctor you need, click on "prendre un rendez-vous". Select the appointment slot that suits you. You must then create your account on the site or log in if you already have one. Your appointment is booked! You will receive a confirmation email and a reminder before the appointment, so that you do not forget.
In case of emergency or if you can't find a doctor free during the week or even at the weekend, you can contact SoS Médecins (see contact details at the bottom of the page) for a day-to-day appointment. You need to call them very early in the morning (7am) or around 7pm to get an evening appointment the same day.
If you have any questions, the Aloha team is at your disposal via this link.
TAKING A COMPLEMENTARY HEALTH INSURANCE
In France, Social Security covers your health expenses. Complementary health insurance is a means to decrease out of pocket expenses and increase health service utilisations in the world.
Consult the CPAM process for more information.