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Insurance (student)

Health Insurance

In France, the healthcare system generally takes care of most healthcare costs.
Subscription to health insurance is mandatory for stays of more than 3 months, unless there is a bilateral agreement between France and your country of origin.
This is the case for all member states of the European Union, European Economic Area, as well as Switzerland and Quebec: steps are thus to be taken before your arrival in France.

How to benefit from health insurance (social security)?

Steps to take will vary according to your situation.


  • You are a European (EU/EEA) or Swiss student
Before arriving in France, make sure you obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) from your country's national health insurance office. This document must be valid for your entire stay in France.
When you arrive in France, if you do not have a European Health Insurance Card, you will need to register on the ‘Assurance Maladie’ (French health insurance) website for new international students:

  • You are a student from Québec
Before arriving in France, make sure you obtain the relevant forms from your country's national health insurance office, RAMQ. These will ensure you are covered in France.
Further information can be found on the Régie de l'Assurance Maladie du Québec (RAMQ) website
Citoyens > Absence du Québec

  • You are a student from another country, and have a visa
Before arriving in France, and before completing registration with the French health care system “l’Assurance Maladie”, we recommend you take out travel insurance or private health insurance to ensure you are covered during the first weeks of your stay in France.
When you arrive in France and once you have completed your administrative registration with university, you must register on the Assurance Maladie website dedicated to new international students:
Registration is free and you will not need to pay social security contributions.
Three documents need to be provided to start the registration process: copies of your passport, visa, and of a proof of registration at university for the current academic year (‘certificat de scolarité’).
The website is available in French, English and Spanish. Step by step procedures are also available in Arabic and Mandarin.


If you have a temporary long stay visa (VLS-T) marked "dispense temporaire de carte de séjour", you will not be able to provide a copy of your residence permit, and will not need to provide a copy of your birth certificate. You will get a provisional social security number (not a definitive one), and your health insurance coverage will be valid for the duration of your visa.
  • Other situations
Registering with the French health care system “l’Assurance Maladie” is subject to conditions related to the length and nature of your stay in France.
If you are staying in France for less than 3 months, or if you cannot register with « l’Assurance Maladie », you will have to take out a private health insurance to cover your medical costs during your stay in France.
Taking out private health insurance is often subject to a medical questionnaire and the prices offered by insurance providers in France vary greatly. There are a number of insurance providers designed specifically for students called "mutuelles étudiantes" (student mutual insurance providers). We recommend you compare offers to choose the one that best meets your needs.

For all other circumstances
, you can consult your Campus France space, the national health insurance office in your country of origin, or speak to the ISSO administrative assistance dpt.


  • If you were covered by the French health care system (CPAM)
No new registration is required.
However, in order to ensure the continuity of your health coverage, you must update your medical card ‘carte vitale’, as well as your personal information on your ‘Ameli’ account.
During your stay in France, the CPAM could ask for more documents by postal mail.
Thus you should make sure to mention any change of address, and to provide any document required in order to avoid the closure of your entitlements.

  • If you were covered by your European Health Insurance Card, and it is no longer valid
Register on :

Find out more
Section Droits et démarches > Études, emploi, retraite > Études et stages > Étudiant > ‘Student: your medical expenditure coverage’ and ‘Foreign student : the french social security registration process’

Complementary health insurance or ‘mutuelle

What is a complementary health insurance, or ‘mutuelle’ ?
The health insurance, also called social security, covers only part of your medical expenses, and the reimbursement rate varies depending on the type of treatment.
To top up social security reimbursements, it is strongly recomended to subscribe to a complementary health insurance, also called ‘mutuelle’.
Even though it is not mandatory, you will be better covered if you have one, particularly in the event of hospitalization.

Who is it for ?
To subscribe to a complementary health insurance, you need to be registered with the french national health insurance, or have a valid European Health Insurance Card or a RAMQ form (Québec students).

Where can I get a complementary health insurance ?
It is up to you to ask for quotes, and compare the offers from different ‘mutuelles’ insurance providers.
  • If you are a student, note that there are student insurance providers with competitive offers.
  • If you have a limited budget, which does not allow you to take out a complementary health insurance, you can apply for the ‘Complémentaire Santé Solidaire’ at the CPAM (more information below).
  • If you have a work contract with an institution of the French Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation, note that some insurance providers have special offers.

Find out more

‘Complémentaire Santé Solidaire’
You must be registered with the french national health insurance in order to be able to apply for the ‘Complémentaire Santé Solidaire’. Several criteria will be taken into account, including your financial resources (in France and abroad) and your family situation.
The application is to be done with your local CPAM, using the form S3711 « Demande de complémentaire santé solidaire », and will need to be renewed every year.
You will know whether your application was accepted or not within two months after having submitted your complete file.
The cost, from 0€ to 30€ per month, varies depending on your financial resources and age.
If you came along with your spouse or children, you will need to submit one single application for the whole family.
More information on the French National Health Insurance website.

How much does a complementary health insurance, or ‘mutuelle’, costs ?
The cost depends on the insurance contract you chose to subscribe to.
For information purposes only, student insurance providers’ offers range from 6€ to 40€ per month. For a researcher with a work contract, offers on average range from around 40€ to more than 100€ per month depending on your family situation.

What is the amount of the reimbursements ?
Reimbursements vary depending on the contract you chose, and on the type of medical care.
For example: A consultation with a health insurance-approved general practitioner

Beware, there may also be a waiting period (known as "carence"), during which time you will not be reimbursed for certain services.
You can get more information directly from your ‘mutuelle’ insurance provider.


Updated on June 25, 2020


The health insurance wants you to provide the translation of your birth certificate ?
Click here to know how to find a certified translator.


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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