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Insurance (researcher)

Health insurance

As a researcher, various criteria should be considered when choosing your health coverage, such as your professional activity, nationality and the length of your stay.

  • You have a French employment contract
As soon as your employment contract begins your healthcare costs will be covered by the general social security regime (Régime Général de la Sécurité Sociale). Health insurance premiums will be deducted directly from your salary.

If you plan on arriving in France before your contact begins, we recommend you take out travel insurance or private health insurance to ensure you are covered from the moment you arrive.

You will not be registered automatically.
You must fill in the "demande d'ouverture de droits" (entitlements application) or "demande d'affiliation" (registration application) form, provide all of the supporting documents requested, and then send your application to one of the following health insurance bodies: Caisse Primaire d’Assurance Maladie (CPAM) de Paris, the CPAM or the MGEN in your place of residence.
Which insurance body you choose depends on a number of criteria:

-> You have a "Passeport Talent" visa
The CPAM de Paris will be your contact for registration and all reimbursement requests:
CPAM de Paris
75948 Paris Cedex 19
Download the "demande d’ouverture de droits" form (entitlements application)

-> You do not have a "Passeport Talent" visa
Your contract will last less than 10 months: The CPAM for your place of residence will be your contact for registration and all reimbursement requests.
Download the "demande d’ouverture de droits" form (entitlements application)

Your contract will last more than 10 months: The MGEN for your place of residence will be your contact for registration and all reimbursement requests. To register, you can go directly to an agency or download the form from the MGEN website.

  • You do not have a French employment contract
European (EU/EEA) or Swiss
Before arriving in France, make sure you obtain your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), the S1 form (if available), or the refusal to issue the S1 form from your country's national health insurance office.
These documents must be valid for your entire stay in France.
Your contact for the reimbursement of medical costs in France will be the international relations department of the CPAM (Caisse Primaire d’Assurance Maladie /Primary Health Insurance Fund) in your place of residence.

Other nationalities
People living in France on a continuous and legal basis may, after 3 months of residence in France, be eligible for "Protection Universelle Maladie" (universal health coverage) that covers their healthcare costs.
However, bear in mind that, in addition to residency criteria, international applicants are subject to other conditions to be able to benefit from this scheme:
The existence of a bilateral agreement with your country of origin: depending on the details of this agreement, you may be able to remain registered with the health insurance body in your country. Speak to your national health insurance office before arriving in France to find out what procedures you need to follow.
Type of visa: Certain visas and residence permits do not offer the possibility of registering for "Protection Universelle Maladie". Speak to your consulate or embassy when your visa is issued to find out more.

After 3 months of residence in France, to apply for "Protection Universelle Maladie", you need to download the entitlements application form (“demande d'ouverture de droits”), fill it out, attach all the supporting documents required for your circumstances, and send it to the CPAM for your place of residence. Applications take 6-10 weeks to be processed.

In all circumstances, the first few months of your stay in France should be covered by private health insurance.

If you are not eligible for "Protection Universelle Maladie" you should take out private health insurance to cover your medical costs during your stay in France.

Signing up for private health insurance in your country of origin before arriving in France
This option enables you to be covered in France as soon as you arrive and will save you time once you get here.

Signing up for private health insurance in France
If you choose this option, we recommend you take out travel insurance that ensures you are covered until you find health insurance in France.
As a researcher, you are eligible for specially negotiated offers from a partner insurance provider as part of the EURAXESS network if you register in our guest researchers database.

Taking out private health insurance is often subject to a medical questionnaire and the prices offered by insurance providers in France vary greatly. We recommend you compare offers to choose the one that best meets your needs.

“Additional” or “mutual” health insurance (‘complémentaire santé’ or ‘mutuelle’)

National Health Insurance (Assurance Maladie, also known as "Sécurité Sociale") only covers part of your medical costs, and the reimbursement rate varies depending on the type of treatment and its seriousness. For the part that is not covered, we recommend that you take out additional insurance, known as "additional" (complémentaire) or "mutual" (mutuelle) health insurance.
Even though this type of insurance is optional, it offers you better coverage, particularly in the event of hospitalization.

For example: A consultation with a social security-approved general practitioner

If you are covered by private health insurance, there is no point in taking out "additional" (complémentaire) or "mutual" (mutuelle) health insurance.

"Additional" or "mutual" health insurance: these are private health insurance policies.
You can take out these policies from any of France's many private health insurance providers. Depending on your healthcare needs (ophthalmology, special medical treatment, etc.), reimbursement rates and premiums will vary from one provider to the next. There may also be a waiting period (known as "carence"), during which time you will not be reimbursed for certain services.
It is worth taking your time to compare the various offers before committing yourself and taking out a policy!

Additional universal healthcare cover (“Couverture Maladie Universelle Complémentaire” - CMU-C): this cover provides additional public health insurance to the unemployed and people with low incomes.
Applications for this cover are subject to residency conditions and financial means, and should be made to the CPAM office in your place of residence.

Further information about the CMU-C:
on the CMU-C website
on the French National Health Insurance website

Updated on August 23, 2018

If your spouse and/or children have come to France with you, we also recommend you refer to the Family Health section of our portal.
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