×
Interested in our Partner Program for businesses or our Local Guide Program for experienced expats and digital nomads? Click here to learn more.
Expat Exchange - Do I need Health Insurance When Moving to France?
Expat Exchange
Free MembershipSign In
Villa in Ardeche, France


Do I need Health Insurance When Moving to France?

By Joshua Wood, LPC

French Riviera House Hunting - FRH
French Riviera House Hunting - FRH

Summary: Is health insurance a requirement when you are moving to France? This article explores health insurance requirements for newcomers to France.

When moving to France as an expat or digital nomad, it's essential to understand the health insurance requirements that will apply to you upon arrival. France has a robust public healthcare system, known as the Protection Universelle Maladie (PUMA), which provides coverage to all residents. However, before you can access this system, you must be a legal resident, which typically requires living in France for at least three months. During this initial period, or if you are staying on a long-stay visa that could lead to residency, you are required to have private health insurance. This insurance must provide comprehensive coverage that is at least equivalent to the French social security system. The minimum coverage amounts and length of coverage required can vary depending on your specific visa or residency status, but it is crucial to ensure that your insurance is valid for the entire duration of your stay until you are eligible to join the public healthcare system.

Does Expat Health Insurance Meet the Requirements?

Most expat health insurance policies are designed to meet the requirements set by various countries for incoming residents. However, it is important to verify that the policy you choose is accepted by the French authorities. The insurance should cover all essential health benefits, including hospitalization, emergency services, and prescription drugs, with minimum coverage amounts that align with French standards. It is advisable to check with the insurance provider to confirm that their coverage is compliant with French regulations and will be recognized for visa applications or residency permits. Additionally, some visa types may require proof of repatriation coverage, which should also be included in your expat health insurance plan.

Which local health insurers offer this type of insurance?

In France, there are several local health insurers that offer plans suitable for expats and digital nomads during their initial residency period. Companies like Allianz France, AXA France, and Groupama are well-known insurers that provide comprehensive health insurance policies that can be tailored to meet the needs of newcomers. These insurers have experience dealing with expat clients and typically offer customer service in multiple languages, which can be very helpful for those who are not yet fluent in French. It's important to compare different plans and providers to find one that offers the best balance of coverage, cost, and customer service for your individual situation.

Advice from Expats in France about Health Insurance

Experienced expats in France often emphasize the importance of securing health insurance that not only meets legal requirements but also suits your personal health needs. They advise paying close attention to the details of the policy, such as coverage limits, deductibles, and co-payments. Make sure to understand the claims process and whether you'll need to pay upfront for services and seek reimbursement later. It's also recommended to consider any pre-existing conditions you may have and ensure they are covered by your policy. Lastly, expats suggest choosing an insurer with a good reputation for customer service and claims handling, as this can significantly ease the process of accessing healthcare in a new country. By doing thorough research and possibly consulting with an insurance broker who specializes in expat coverage, you can find a health insurance plan that provides peace of mind as you start your new life in France.

Expats Talk about Health Insurance in France

"Very affordable, even before I was on the healthcare system I paid less than 100 euros for full x-rays and a cast for a broken wrist. With healthcare, it's simply covered thanks to higher taxes," said one expat who moved to Epinal, France.

About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.


French Riviera House Hunting - FRH
French Riviera House Hunting - FRH

French Riviera House Hunting - FRH
French Riviera House Hunting - FRH

Villa in Ardeche, France

Allianz Care
Allianz Care

Flexible solutions allow you to tailor your cover to meet your needs and budget. Use Promocode: LIFE10 and get 10% off your international health insurance for life!
Get Quote

Allianz CareAllianz Care

Flexible solutions allow you to tailor your cover to meet your needs and budget. Use Promocode: LIFE10 and get 10% off your international health insurance for life!
Get Quote

Contribute to France Network Contribute
Help others in France by answering questions about the challenges and adventures of living in France.

French Riviera House Hunting - FRH
French Riviera House Hunting - FRH

Copyright 1997-2024 Burlingame Interactive, Inc.

Privacy Policy Legal Partners & Local Guides