Update: December 2012:
French medical coverage is required for all foreigners residing in France. It is essential for obtaining a French visa prior to moving to France and also for obtaining and for renewing French resident permits.
Employees and the self-employed:
Most usually French medical coverage is obtained by making contributions – as an employee or a self-employed person – into the French social security system. Contributions must be made and a significant number of documents provided to obtain a French social security number in order to be able to claim reimbursement.
In an internal memorandum dated April 2012, the French social security authorities (Caisse Primaire d’Assurance Maladie or CPAM) have initiated very strict requirements for the legalization of documents birth and marriage certificates which should be submitted to obtain a French social security number.
European documents and certain documents from former French colonies need only be translated by an official translator in France (see www.ceticip.com for a list of official translators).
Documents which do not need to be legalized (but must be officially translated by a certified translator in France):
|Central African Republic||Kiribati||Madagascar||Slovenia|
However, for non-Europeans, obtaining the legalized document can be complex, especially if you are already located in France.
Here is the list of birth and marriage documents which must be legalized (this can sometimes be done through your consulate in France but not always):
|Saudi Arabia||Nicaragua||Sri Lanka|
|Belau (Palau)||Guyana||Sierra Leone||United Arab Emirates|
|Chili||Kosovo||Papua New Guinea||Uruguay|
|Cuba||Mozambique||Saint Siege (Vatican)||Thailand|
|Equitorial Guinea||Maldives||Sri Lanka||Zambia|
Apostilles to be obtained from local authorities which issued birth or marriage certificate:
|Albania||Brunei||Grenada||Malta||Saint Vincent et les Grenadins|
|Antigua and Barbados||Cyprus||India||Maurice||Samoa Occidental|
|Armenia||Dominican Republic||Israel||Moldavia||South Africa|
|Barbados||Fiji||Liberia||New Zealand||United States (from the issuing State)|
SOCIAL SECURITY :
Bilateral social security treaties. Certain countries have bi-lateral treaties in France which allow an employee on assignment to continue to make social securitycontributions in his home country and exonerate him and the French host company from French social security contributions for a determined period of time. See Annexe “list of countries with bilateral agreement with France”). Only a few of these countries, primarily the European countries, allow for reciprocal medical coverage in France. Private insurance must be taken for the assignee and his family during their stay in France.
For nationals of countries without a bilateral social security treaty, French social security contributions (employer and employee) must be made in France (even if the employee is being paid by his employer outside of France). If the employee is being paid in France, social security contributions are made through the normal channel (the URSSAF – the French collecting agency). If the employee is being paid by a foreign employer, social security contributions on his entire remuneration must be made to a special branch of the URSSAF (see URSSAF du Bas Rhin).
After 60 hours of contributing to the French social security system, workers and their beneficiaries residing habitually with them are covered by French social security. However they cannot claim reimbursement for their medical expenses until the worker and his family are registered with the French medical coverage organisation – the Caisse Primaire d’Assurance Maladie – the CPAM. Registering with the CPAM has become a complex procedure and can take several months (See notes on French medical coverage Annexe).
SOCIAL SECURITY REGISTRATION IN FRANCE:
A prerequisite for obtaining a visa to move to France is proof of private medical coverage specifically covering France. Only under exceptional circumstances can a foreigner arriving in France apply for French medical coverage available for all (at a cost of 8% of worldwide global income). Most foreigners residing in France will prefer to continue to pay private medical coverage.
Self-employed people moving to France must go through a lengthy procedure to obtain resident permits and register with the French social security authorities
to begin to pay self-employed social security contributions – usually estimated to be approximately 35% of pre-tax profit). These contributions cover health and retirement but do not French income tax (and there is no unemployment benefit for the self-employed).
Security treaties between France and other countries:
|Country||Length of exonerationYears||Prolongation – to be confirmed||Reciprocal medical coverage in France – to be confirmed||Comments||Eligibility of nationals of a third state||Exoneration for the self-employed|
|Transitional European countries (Bulgaria and Rumania)||3||–||No|
|Cap Vert||3||Agreement required|
|Chile||2||2 – agreement required|
|Korea||3||3 – agreement required|
|Ivory Coast||2||Agreement required|
|United States of America||5||Exceptional agreement required|
|Guernsey, Aurigny, Herm, Jethou||–||–|
|India||5||Agreement required||Only retirement exonerated!|
|Jersey||6 months||6 months – agreement required|
|Mali||2||1 – agreement required|
|Morocco||3||3 – agreement required|
|Monaco||6 months||Agreement required|
|Nigeria||1||1 – agreement required|
|New Caledonia||2||2 – with agreement|
|Philippines||3||3 – with agreement|
|Polynesia (French)||3||3 – with agreement|
|Quebec (students and cooperation)||Yes|
|Saint-Pierre and Miquelon||2||–|
|Senegal||3||3 – with agreement|
|Tunisia||3||3 – with agreement|
Please refer to separate treaties and to local authorities for the information shown for confirmation of the secondment periods allowable and conditions for reimbursement of medical expenses.