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The Health Insurance Systems in France and Its Benefits

Health in France there has really improved over the last 50 years, there are lots of improvements that have been applied and many people have been really saved from that improvement.

French law states that all citizens of France must be covered by health insurance. This could be via the public healthcare system or a private plan.

The government 2016 announced a universal healthcare system called Protection Maladies Universally (PUMA). The scheme’s introduction means that most expatriates are now eligible for state-run French healthcare insurance (assurance illness).

People not covered by PUMA or who want to improve their health insurance coverage may go with private health insurance plans.

In the PUMA system, permanent residents can get health insurance from the state if they’ve resided for three consecutive months in France.

Significant reforms to healthcare have eased the requirements for employees and residents of France and have meant that access to healthcare is now the right of everyone living there.

This is regardless of the age, medical history, and proof of social security payments (conizations socials).
In the past, French health insurance for foreigners was only available if specific requirements were fulfilled.

Currently, PUMA guarantees that legal residents will have their health insurance regardless of any change in the circumstances.

The new system helped France attain eighth place among 89 countries in the latest Health Care Index, behind only Austria, Denmark, and Spain in Europe. For more details, check out our article on the French health system.

How Healthcare Works in France

Does France offer free healthcare? Mostly. In general. The French health system is considered one of the best in the world. Here are a few health facts to help you get started:

  1. It’s a well-managed system with more than one doctor for every 1,000 residents.
  2. The life expectancy for a person in France is 85.
  3. Universal healthcare is an amalgamation, and the healthcare costs in France are partially financed by the state and private or individual insurance companies.
  4. Employers and employees pay taxes that are a part of the health insurance system.

What Is Covered by Public Healthcare

When you visit a doctor in France, the healthcare system typically covers 70 per cent of costs and 80 per cent of hospital costs. If you suffer from a severe disease, all the costs are paid.

This is because France is based on principles of solidarity. The sick will generally be the ones to pay the least, thus preventing them from being financially challenged.

The rest is paid by the patient or through additional private health insurance. For example, the patient pays a modest fee of one EUR (1 USD) per doctor’s visit.

If France’s universal healthcare system covers you, you’ll be covered by 2016 by the PUMA program (Protection Universally Maladies).

If you’re a legal resident of France, you’ll be eligible to receive healthcare coverage regardless of your employment status. This differs from the prior system, which covered dependents only when they met specific requirements for living or employment.

The public health insurance system called Securite Sociale is basic health insurance for eligible people and is funded through tax contributions and deductions from salary.

Foreigners who work in France, self-employed individuals who contribute the required amount, or those reaching the official retiring age in their country of residence can take advantage of the French health system after signing up at the Social Security office in their area.

Many employers do this for their employees from abroad; however, it is the individual’s sole duty to ensure that the process is done correctly.

EU citizens can use the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) for access to healthcare provided by the state for a brief-term trip.

UK citizens can use the benefits of the Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC), a replacement for the EHIC issued to UK citizens following the Brexit vote.

The public system is responsible for most of the medical expenses. However, most locals and foreigners take advantage of private insurance to pay for the rest of their medical expenses.

Patients with chronic diseases such as diabetes or cancer are covered for 100 per cent of their medical expenses, including therapy, surgery, and prescription drugs paid for by the state.

People who use the public healthcare system should be aware that, even though the decision to see a doctor is to the patient having the same physician will ensure more significant social security benefits.

The referral must be obtained before an expert is sought, or the state may reduce its contribution. Specialists, like dentists and psychiatrists, are not subject to this rule.

It is important to note that upfront payment is required for some appointments. Patients only get reimbursed after a specific time.

Best Private International Health Insurance in France for Expats

International private health insurance provides several additional benefits beyond your area’s existing insurance policies. They are, first, universal and provide coverage wherever you are around the globe.

Additionally, they are more extensive and give you access to a broader range of French health facilities and physicians. For expatriates who are moving to France, we suggest two alternatives.

Cigna Global is a leading international insurer that offers excellent benefits and service. Cigna Global offers a modular plan that lets you pick and choose the various options to customize the plan to suit your requirements and budget.

Another plan that is suggested that is primarily targeted at US citizens who live abroad is Geo Blue Xplore, which offers the same benefits and benefits as Cigna.

Geo Blue Xplore is offered in partnership with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of America and includes the best BCBS network of hospitals and doctors and the best quality of doctors worldwide. If you are looking for other options, check out our selection of the best international health insurance providers.

Like many other nations in the world, there are two kinds of hospitals in France: private and public. Most hospital services are covered by mandatory health insurance, whereas the other 20% is paid out of pocket or financed by private health insurance.

However, most forms of hospital services are covered by national health insurance. Those who stay longer than a night will be required to pay the mandatory contribution cost of EUR 18 for accommodation and board.

In many instances, additional fees for miscellaneous items like private hospital rooms or bed charges will have to be paid out from your pocket.

Public hospitals in France provide a high level of care and offer a wide selection of services and surgeries. A thing to keep in mind is that not every hospital includes the facilities of an Accident & Emergency (A&E) department.

Therefore, you must know the location of the closest accessible A&E departments to your location. People who live in rural areas must be aware that the public hospitals in these areas of the country generally are not as modern as those in cities. They may not have medical personnel fluent in English or another language other than French.

Private hospitals and clinics that are profitable tend to provide more specific services (e.g., specialized dermatological treatments) because these areas are where the majority of the opportunities for profit are.

Therefore, a few private hospitals offer full-service in France, and the rest are comprised of a handful, like The American Hospital of Paris.

Most private hospitals are accredited by the state, which means they are included in the nation’s health care system. Although most private health care services are subsidized, the additional cost patients have to pay could be expensive, particularly if they require specialist or extensive private treatment.

This is why private health insurance could aid in paying for the costs and provide additional benefits not covered by the national medical system (e.g., significant dental treatment benefits).

Bottom Line

The fact that statutory health insurance and/or local private health insurance in France only provide coverage for the insured in one nation is a significant drawback.

Therefore, those wishing to get healthcare both in France and abroad should think about acquiring worldwide health insurance coverage, which provides complete healthcare benefits in essentially every nation on earth. Additionally, this kind of policy gives policyholders access to privileged elements like medical evacuation and repatriation benefits.

Download your free copy of our Cost of International Health Insurance 2018 study to get an idea of how much international health insurance costs for individuals and families in France.

France has one of the best healthcare in the world and has strived to improve every expects of it by implementing new rules and new technology to it as often as possible.

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