Healthcare costs

Good healthcare on a limited budget is possible! There are solutions for consulting doctors without advance payment, or getting help to benefit from a complementary health insurance for a better coverage of your medical expenses.

Consulting a doctor without up-front payment

For UGA students and PhD students

There is no up-front payment for medical consultations if you go to the University Health Center in Grenoble or the Youth Health Centre (Centre santé jeunes) in Valence.
More information about the Health centers for students and PhD students

For people in situation of precariousness without health insurance

If you are in severe financial difficulties and have no health insurance cover, there are places in Grenoble and Valence where you can obtain treatment.
More information on healthcare facilities for people in precarious situations

‘Complémentaire santé solidaire’

The health insurance, also called social security, only covers part of your medical expenses. To cover the remaining costs, it is highly recommended to take out a complementary health insurance (mutuelle) contract with an insurance company.
If you have a limited budget and cannot afford to take out a complementary health insurance policy, you can apply for the ‘Complémentaire santé solidaire’ to your local CPAM (Caisse primaire d'assurance maladie).
If you are eligible for the ‘Complémentaire santé solidaire’, it will be either free or at low cost.

Who can apply ?

To qualify for the ‘Complémentaire santé solidaire’, you must be registered with the French state health insurance (CPAM ou MGEN).
Several criteria will then be taken into account when considering your application, including your financial resources (in France and abroad) and your family situation.

You can test your eligibility by running a simulation on the website ‘Mes droits sociaux’.
More information about the simulation on the Assurance maladie website

Apply for ‘Complémentaire santé solidaire’

If you have an Ameli account, you can apply online from your account in the 'Mes démarches' (my procedures) section.
To guide you through the online process, tutorials are available on the Assurance Maladie Pastel website.

If you do not have an Ameli account, you must apply using a paper form, , which you must complete, date and sign, and send by post or hand in to the Caisse d'Assurance Maladie (CPAM), together with the documents requested.
Download the form "Demande de Complémentaire santé solidaire" on the Assurance Maladie website
If you are accompanied by your spouse and/or children, you will need to make a single application for the whole household.

What happens next ?

You will find out whether your application has been accepted within 2 months of submitting a complete application.

If your application is accepted, your rights to ‘Complémentaire santé solidaire’ will be open for 1 year from the 1st day of the month following the date of acceptance.
You will receive a new health insurance certificate showing your entitlement to ‘Complementaire santé solidaire’. And if you already have your medical card ‘carte Vitale’, remember to update it.

To continue to benefit from ‘Complémentaire santé solidaire’ after 1 year, you must apply for renewal between 2 and 4 months before the end of your entitlement.

For more information about the ‘Complémentaire santé solidaire’, visit the Assurance Maladie website
Good to know
Your health expenses will be better reimbursed if you have also declared a referring doctor (‘médecin traitant’) to your health insurance organization.
To find out more about the referring doctor, consult step 2 of this page

Complementary health insurance for employees

If you are an employee in France (student job, doctoral contract, etc.), depending on your sector of activity (public or private), your employer may either pay part of the cost of your complementary health insurance or allow you to join the company's complementary health insurance scheme.

If you are a university employee, you may, under certain conditions, benefit from partial coverage of the cost of your health insurance.
For more information, contact your HR correspondent and consult the intranet of your host institution.

If you are a private-sector employee, your employer must offer you a group health insurance contract that it has negotiated for its employees. The rates depend on the contract taken out by the company.
Do not hesitate to compare rates and conditions. In some cases, you can refuse the company's complementary health insurance scheme and choose your own.
Find out when you can opt out of the company health insurance contract
Find out more about complementary company health insurance

Published on  May 29, 2024
Updated on May 30, 2024