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Affiliation to the French social security system takes time! You must therefore take out health and repatriation insurance to cover you during your first weeks in France. We advise you to get information from the competent institutions in your country of origin or on the CLEISS website. Please also note that in France you will need to take out civil liability insurance (Only in French).


Any person working and/or residing in France on a stable basis can benefit from social security. It comprises three schemes: general, agricultural and special.

Within the general social security scheme, there are five branches : family, retirement, recovery, sickness and occupational accidents/illnesses.

It is these last two branches of the general social security scheme that are managed by what is known as the Assurance Maladie.

In order to benefit from the Assurance Maladie and therefore from a partial reimbursement of health care costs, it is imperative to obtain :

  • a Social Security number (temporary, then permanent)
  • a carte vitale


To do this, it is essential to contact a Caisse Primaire d’Assurance Maladie (CPAM). The procedures for affiliation depend on your status in France (employee or student), the duration of your stay (more or less than three months) and your country of residence (European Economic Area or Third Country).

To obtain full reimbursement of health care costs, you can subscribe to a mutual insurance company or a complementary health insurance plan, if this is not provided by your employer.