Guide to Health Insurance in France

You may be relocating to France or simply looking for a new international health insurance provider, but it’s important to know what’s on offer both in terms of insurance provision, and also the country’s medical care and facilities.

With a total population of an estimated 62,343,000 and a life expectancy of 78 for men and 85 for women, France’s healthcare system is comprehensive. In its 2000 assessment of world health care systems, the World Health Organisation found that France provided the "best overall health care" in the world. France has a system of universal health care largely financed by government national health insurance.

Healthcare Facilities

Approximately 60% of France’s hospital capacity is met by the publicly managed and owned hospitals throughout the country. The residual capacity is split equally between non-profit sector hospitals (which are linked to the public sector and are commonly owned by religious institutions, foundations or mutual-insurance associations) and by for-profit organisations.

France has many outstanding hospitals, generally located in and around the major cities. Top medical facilities can be found at all of them, in particular Amiens University Hospital, Claude Bernard University Hospital in Lyon, Pitie-Salpetriere Hospital in Paris and Nice University Hospital.

France’s healthcare infrastructure is a combination of private and public providers and insurers. Public insurance, financed by both employees and employer contributions, is compulsory and covers nearly the entire population, while private insurance is of a complementary type and voluntary. Providers of out-patient care are mainly private and hospital beds are mostly public or private non-profit-making.

Dental care can be expensive in France, prices are similar to the rest of Western Europe so it is best to go fully covered with international health insurance in case of any medical emergencies which can leave you out of pocket.

The French emergency services are supplied by a range of organisations under public health control, with the lead taken by a central control function called SAMU, which stands for 'Service d'Aide Médicale Urgente' or urgent medical aid service.

Before you go

It is unlikely that you will require any vaccinations for France and there are no endemic diseases.

Next steps

You can get a quote for one of our WorldCare plans for your health insurance cover in France.  You can access treatment anywhere in the world. You can buy online, get covered instantly and manage your plan through your own personal secure online area, so it’s quick and convenient.

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