The French Health Care System

Who is covered?

Coverage is universal. All residents are entitled to coverage from noncompeting statutory health insurance (SHI) funds, which are statutory occupation-based entities. Entitlement comes through employment (for salaried or self-employed persons and their families), as a benefit (for people and their families who have become unemployed), and through being a student or retired person. Since the introduction of universal medical coverage in 2000, the state has covered the health care costs of residents not eligible for SHI (0.4% of the population). The state covers illegal residents who have applied for residency. Visitors from within the EU are covered, but non-EU visitors are covered for emergency care only. Complementary private health insurance, covering user charges and/or excluded services (e.g., psychologists, dieticians), covers 95 percent of the population, and is obtained through employers or means-tested vouchers.

For more information, read a profile of the French health care system.