What You Need to Know about Health Insurance in France

What You Need to Know about Health Insurance in France

From the iconic Eiffel Tower, to the scenic wine regions of Bordeaux, or the dazzling French Riviera, it’s easy for expats to have romantic notions of moving to France. As the cultural heart of Europe, the country has been at the forefront of the art and fashion worlds for decades, if not centuries.

A society extremely proud of its heritage, the French are known for their elegance and love of the finer things in life. The pleasant climate and highly regarded education sector also make France an ideal location for those with children.

The French Healthcare System

France’s healthcare system consistently ranks among the best in the world. Both the public and private sectors offer comprehensive coverage, with little difference between the two in terms of quality of care. Staff are well-qualified and medical facilities generally lack the long waiting times many expats may be used to.

The public health insurance system is known as Sécurité Sociale and provides basic coverage to those who qualify, including expats. It is funded by tax contributions from salary deductions. In order to take advantage of the system, expats who qualify need to register at their local social security office. Get a quote today.

Doctors meeting

Private Health Insurance

Although public health insurance covers a substantial portion of medical bills, most of the French population has some form of private health insurance, and it’s a good idea for expats to also consider having this.

Health insurance is often provided by employers, so it’s best to try to negotiate this prior to arrival, especially if moving as part of a corporate relocation.


Pharmacies are plentiful, especially in France’s major cities. Over-the-counter medicine can only be sold in a pharmacy, so basic medication like painkillers or flu medicine will not likely be available in a supermarket. Pharmacies can be identified by their large illuminated red or green cross sign.

Health Risks

There are no major health concerns for expats travelling to France.

Young child with private healthcare


There are no required vaccinations for France, but expats should visit a healthcare professional prior to arrival to ensure that all routine vaccinations are up to date. Vaccinations are recommended for hepatitis A, hepatitis B and rabies.


Emergency services are efficient and staff are highly trained. In case of an emergency, expats should dial 15 if using a landline, or 112 if phoning from a cell phone. Get a quote today.

Family with private health care

How Cigna Global Can Help You

At Cigna Global, we provide plans that are specifically designed for expats.

We specialise in providing comprehensive health coverage, ensuring that you have the very best of care available to you as and when you need it.

Everything we do is driven by our mission to help improve your health, wellbeing and peace of mind.

  • Get access to our global network of over 1 million trusted hospitals, clinics and doctors
  • Speak to a medical professional any time, any day, thanks to our 24/7 customer care team
  • Tailor a plan to meet the needs and budget of you and your family
  • Receive peace of mind through our vast experience in delivering international healthcare

Get a quote today.


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