France offers a comprehensive and high quality health care system consisting of both public and private hospitals. Unlike the UK, France has a combination of universal health care provision available to all French residents and Top-Up or complementary health insurance. This system is referred to as the Protection Universelle Maladie (PUMA).

First, make sure you are registered for French health care

To get your Carte Vitale, there are different ways to register into the French health care system depending on your personal situation.

For further information contact your local CPAM (Caisse Primaire d’Assurance Maladie).

Reasons to have a Top-Up health insurance plan

The cost of health and medical treatments can be very expensive. Although a visit to your doctor may seem relatively small, if you need surgery or hospitalisation the medical bill could be expensive. Medication is also rarely fully reimbursed.

There is a universal system of health cover in France provided by your relevant Social Security regime. You must be registered and in possession of your Carte Vitale to benefit.

As a general rule your Social Security regime e.g. CPAM will pay approximately 70% of the basic state set tariff of any health treatment or consultations but this leaves a shortfall of at least 30%.

Top up Health Insurance is available to cover this shortfall and potentially a contribution to other private fees. This is important because the base level does not cover all fees that you may incur. Very often extra private fees are charged by consultants, surgeons, dentists and opticians.

Ask an advisor


Your Top-up Health Insurance is linked to your Carte Vitale and works in tandem with this system. If a payment is made in association with the Carte Vitale the link triggers the Top up Health insurance company to make their appropriate payment also. Alternatively it is necessary to send your ‘décompte de prestations’ (receipt from your social security regime) directly to your Health Insurance provider for a reimbursement to be made.

When applying for top-up health insurance the following basic information is required:

  • Your age
  • Family situation (partners/spouse, children etc.)
  • Employment status (retired/employed etc ) & job description
  • A copy of your « Attestation Droits à l'Assurance Maladie »

An advisor will discuss with you your health needs (e.g. how often you visit your doctor, medicines etc) in order to help you with the choice of cover most adapted to your situation.

Generally, a health insurance plan will have no waiting period before you are able to make a claim and no medical examinations are required.

Ask your advisor

The Health insurance contract is provided by PACIFICA, the insurance company, subsidiary of Crédit Agricole SA. PACIFICA: Company regulated by the "Code des Assurances". Limited company with a consolidated capital of 252,432,825€ untied funds. Head office: 8-10 boulevard de Vaugirard - 75724 Paris cedex 15.352 358 865 RCS Paris. The events guaranteed and the conditons figure in the contract.

This contract is issued by your regional head office Crédit Agricole Normandie, registered with the ORIAS as a broker. Crédit Agricole Mutuel de Normandie co-operative company with variable capital, approved bank – Head office situated 15 Esplanade de Brillaud de Laujardière – CS25041, 14050 CAEN CEDEX 4 – Registered in CAEN under the company number 478 834 930 - Brokering company registered on the « registre des intérmediares d’assurance » n° 07 022 868.

Contact your CA Britline advisor to find out the full details and conditions of this offer in your regional office of Crédit Agricole.