When and How to register with CPAM?

Are you preparing to move to France and in the process of becoming a French resident? Are you wondering how to register with the Caisse primaire d'assurance maladie (CPAM)? Find out about the main steps and the supporting documents you need to provide.

What is the CPAM and what is its purpose?

In the United Kingdom, the public health system is known as the National Health Service (NHS). Broadly speaking, its French equivalent is the social security section called the “CPAM” (Caisse Primaire d'Assurance Maladie). The CPAM has branches in every department in France.

The health reimbursements made by the CPAM are topped up by the “Mutuelle” (or top-up health) if you have taken out a policy. The amount of reimbursement by top-up health insurers can vary depending on the contract and benefits taken out.

How to register with the CPAM?

As a European Community national living in France, you have two main options for joining the CPAM health insurance scheme.  

Firstly, you can apply to be registered based on whether you are employed or resident in France.  If you are employed in France, you must complete form S1106. This must then be sent to the CPAM.  Remember to enclose a copy of your passport, an original birth certificate (or a certified copy thereof), a copy of your employment contract and, where possible, your first payslip and a French bank statement for an account held in your name.  

Second option: if you are not employed in France and are living there for any other reason (retirement, job-hunting, living with your family....), you can apply for an S1 form from your current social security scheme. You will need to attach the same documents to this European form as you would if you were applying as an employed person (with the exception of your employment contract and payslip). You should also enclose proof of residence (energy bill, rental contract ....). Once you have an S1 form, you must register it with your local CPAM office.

Good to know

If your situation does not fall into one of the above categories, you can contact the "Caisse Primaire d'Assurance Maladie (CPAM) in your place of residence to find out more. You can find their contact details on ameli.fr under "addresses and contacts" section.

What are the other stages in the registration process?

After processing, a provisional social security number will be created. It takes a little longer to obtain your permanent “Carte Vitale”. This document that allows you to prove your entitlements and to be reimbursed quickly, without having to go through any formalities.

In France, the "carte vitale" can be presented to any doctor or pharmacist who uses the "tiers payants" system, so that you do not have to pay in advance for the part of your bill that is reimbursed by the CPAM health insurance scheme.

To obtain this precious card, you need to wait until your identity documents have been authenticated by “Insee” (the French national Institute for Statistics and Economic Studies).  

For more information on this subject, visit ameli.fr, under the heading "Protection sociale à l'accueil en France".

We hope that this article helped you!


Copyright Uni-médias -Last updated February 2024.
Article for information and advertising purposes. The information in this article is provided for information purposes only and Crédit Agricole declines all liability in connection therewith. It is in no way intended to replace the reader’s own knowledge and expertise. You are strongly recommended to seek professional advice.
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First published: 22nd May 2024