Health insurance - Bordeaux Montaigne University v1.2

Health Insurance

Useful links:
Student Health and Welfare services
Campus France tutorials : How does the Assurance Maladie (health insurance) work in france?

  1. Registration to the French Social Security is free and mandatory for all students staying in France for more than 3 months. This entitles you to coverage of your health care expenses for the duration of your studies.

    Once you have arrived in France and been issued with your certificate of enrollment, you will be able to register on "l'Assurance Maladie"'s dedicated website,

    Please note: if you are a citizen or a permanent resident of a country within the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland, you must apply to the social security organisation in your country for a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).

  2. While registering on the website, you will need to enter the required information and upload the requested supporting documents, as determined by your circumstances and country of origin. Make sure you dispose of the following administrative documents:

    • Passport or ID card;
    • Certificate of enrollment for the current year;
    • A civil status document (a full copy of the birth certificate, a birth certificate with filiation, a family booklet, a marriage booklet);
    • Bank information for your reimbursements: IBAN (International Bank Account Number), RIB (Bank Identity Statement).

    Please note: International agreements and conventions may require other evidence, including:

    • If you are a citizen or a permanent resident of a country within the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland, and you do not have the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or a provisional certificate: the S1 form (which attests to your right to have your health costs covered by the social security system in your country of origin)
    • If you are not a UE/EEA citizen: your residence permit
    • If you are a Quebec citizen: in the case of a university exchange, before your departure, ask your health insurance fund for the form "Attestation of affiliation to the social security system for participants in exchanges between higher education institutions" and have it completed by your university in Quebec.
  3. When you have completed all of these steps, a personal account is created for you. You will be able to log in to it using the email address you provided at the time of registration. For help with registration, watch the « Social security registration for foreign students » tutorial.

    Once you have registered, you will be given a provisional social security number and you will be able to download your provisional social security registration certificate.

    This provisional number will allow you to access the reimbursement of your health costs by « l’Assurance Maladie » (you can submit missing or non-compliant supporting documents at any time in your personal space on the website).

  4. To make sure you get the most out of your health care coverage, you will need to take the following steps:

    Appoint a doctor in France as your general practitioner

    Your general practitioner is the one who:

    • knows you best, because they care for you on a regular basis;
    • guides your coordinated healthcare path (they are the ones to refer you to other healthcare professionals);
    • manages your medical record by centralising all information relating to your care;
    • provides you with personalised preventive care including, for example, vaccination checks, screening, help to stop smoking, etc.

    Appointing a general practitioner also allows you to be reimbursed at a higher rate (70% instead of 30%).

    How can I find a general practitioner ? The Ameli healthcare directory lists all healthcare professionals and establishments (addresses, opening times, care provided and average rates) :

    Order your French health insurance card ("carte Vitale") and open an Ameli account

    As soon as you get your permanent social security number, you will be able to order your French health insurance card ("Carte Vitale") and open an Ameli account.

    Your « Carte Vitale » contains all the details required for the reimbursement of your health costs. You can use it with healthcare professionals to receive quicker reimbursements and benefit from third-party payment (i.e. it can save you from paying for care or medicines up front).

    Your card will need to be updated once a year, and whenever you have a change in circumstances. You can update it at the terminals available at all local health insurance funds ("CPAM") and at most pharmacies. This guarantees that all of your information is up-to-date and streamlines the reimbursement of your health care expenses.

    You can also open an Ameli account (on the ameli app or on to track your reimbursements, update the personal information that is crucial for smooth communications with the French health insurance system, and ask any questions by email.

    Take out supplementary insurance

    Although the French Social Security reimburses most of your healthcare expenses, there is still an amount left to pay. This is why we recommend taking out supplementary health insurance.

    To help you understand, here is an example of the breakdown of health expenses for a consultation with a doctor:

    • Price of a basic consultation: €25
    • Part reimbursed by social security: €17.50
    • Complementary part (reimbursed by the non-mandatory supplementary insurance company): €7.50
    • Fixed contribution (which the patient must pay out of pocket): 1€.

    If you have low income, you can apply for the Solidarity Supplementary health insurance (« complémentaire santé solidaire »).