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Foreign students: what health coverage?

Leaving to discover the world is definitely a rich idea, but as long as your departure takes place in the best possible conditions. An accident happens quickly, especially abroad when you will undoubtedly experience all kinds of adventures. Far from home, it is even more important to be well insured to enjoy your stay… French students, did you know that our social security sometimes protects you even outside our borders?

Study in a European country

As so often, Europe greatly facilitates the procedures and life of students in International mobility. Thus, if you choose to study in a State of the European Union / European Economic Area (EU/EEA) or in Switzerland, all you need to do to be covered is to obtain, before departure, the European health insurance card (EHIC).

Once the EHIC in your pocket, it will allow you to assert your rights toHealth Insurance and to be able to have the medical care you may need within the limits of the laws in force in your host country.

The EHIC is individual and nominative. It must be requested at least 15 days before departure for your host country, from your health insurance fund.

The steps can be taken online on your ameli accountby telephone on 36 46 or in person by going to your health insurance fund. Your card is issued for a period of two years or for the duration of your rights toHealth Insurance.

Please note that the medical costs covered by your host country are not necessarily the same as those offered by France. It is up to you to find out before you leave in order to avoid delicate situations.

In case of medical care in your host country, you will have to present your card and you will then be subject to the same procedures as the locals, whether you have to pay a fee or not.

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Studying outside the European Union

In a country that has signed a social security agreement with France

If you choose to go outside the European Union then your social protection will vary depending on your host country. There are conventions signed by France and a certain number of countries in order to facilitate student mobility and allow better support for candidates for the International mobility.

So, if you go to do your study in canadamore precisely in Quebec, you can benefit from a registration to the RAMQ, the local health insurance, whether you are registered in a French institution or directly in a Quebec institution. Please note that your procedures vary depending on the nationality of your school. In order to take advantage of the cover offered by the treaty between France and Quebec (or any other signatory of a treaty), you will have to withdraw forms according to your situation and follow the steps scrupulously but do not panic, everything is explained on the site ameli.fr and you can in any case get closer to your regional health insurance in order to be guided in more detail.

Bilateral conventions are unique and their terms vary according to the signatory States. It will be advisable to carefully study the one that concerns you so as not to have any unpleasant surprises.

In a country without a social security agreement with France.

Again, your cover varies depending on your personal situation.

You are under 20 or you are leaving for less than 6 months.

If you find yourself in this situation then your urgent medical expenses can be reimbursed by the health insurance fund of your parents. However, this will only be possible within the limits of the French flat rates in force at the time of your pick-up and if you meet the following 3 conditions:

  • you must attend an institution that prepares you for a state diploma;
  • you must provide a school certificate;
  • you must return to French territory at least once during your university year.

Covered or not, it is essential to always adjust the medical fees that are billed to you and not to go into debt. Keep all proof of payment and the corresponding invoices in order to be able to present them to the health insurance fund your parents to request a refund. It is not guaranteed that you will be reimbursed for part or all of your costs and to avoid this disappointment, it is possible to subscribe on your side to a private insurance.

You are over 20 years old or you are leaving for a period of more than 6 months

The French social security will not cover you during your adventure and you will need to find out what steps to take to be protected by theHealth Insurance of your host country.

Beware, every country has a social security scheme which is specific to it: your social protection will therefore be different from one country to another and it will be up to you to find out about the ins and outs of your attachment to this new Health Insurance.

You will not be covered and reimbursed by the French social security but you can ask your health insurance fund or by contacting the consulate of your future host country.

The medical fees can very quickly become heavy, it may be interesting to take out private insurance in order to have more complete health coverage.

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Take out a private insurance contract

It is common knowledge that France has a particularly inexpensive healthcare system in comparison with the quality of care provided. Abroad, care of the same ilk can quickly become inaccessible to many people, the best known example being the United States.

A solution to this cost problem is theprivate insurance which allows, for a monthly contribution, coverage of costs incurred in the event of an unforeseen event. There are several packages from different service providers, which can allow you to select an offer that best suits your needs and financial capacities, ranging from support to the first euro spent on medical care until only accidents and hospitalizations are covered.

Depending on your destination, a Health Insurance complementary covering your medical bills may be required by your host institution as a sine qua non upon your arrival.

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