Contact us on WhatsApp: +33 6 95 73 52 90

Sécurité Sociale FAQ

By Jean
Reading Time: 4 minutes
sécurité sociale france

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. If you click on them and make a purchase, we will receive commission at no extra cost to you. Read more here.

Navigating the complexities of moving to a new country can be daunting, especially for international students. Among the myriad of things to consider, understanding the health insurance system of your host country is crucial. In France, this system is known as the Sécurité Sociale (SECU).

This article is designed to demystify the Sécurité Sociale requirements for students, addressing frequently asked questions such as enrollment necessity, costs, enrollment procedures, and steps to take if you decide to leave France or have not yet enrolled.

What is Sécurité Sociale?

Sécurité Sociale is France’s government-operated healthcare system, designed to provide residents and eligible foreigners, including international students, with access to healthcare services. It covers a wide range of healthcare expenses, such as doctor visits, hospital stays, and prescription medications, partially or fully.

Am I eligible for Sécurité Sociale?

As an international student, if you’re under 28 years old and enrolled in a higher education institution in France, you’re generally eligible for Sécurité Sociale. Students over 28 may have to look into private insurance options or specific arrangements depending on their situation.

Do I Have to Enroll in Sécurité Sociale?

For international students planning to live and study in France, enrolling in the Sécurité Sociale is not just a requirement; it’s a gateway to accessing comprehensive healthcare services. This ensures you’re covered for most health-related expenses, from doctor visits to hospital stays.

Do I Have to Pay for It?

Here’s the good news: access to the national health insurance system is free. However, you may still need to contribute a modest amount to a mutuelle (supplementary health insurance), although this is optional. This additional coverage can further reduce any out-of-pocket expenses for healthcare services not fully covered by the Sécurité Sociale.

sécurité sociale

How Do I Enroll?

Enrolling in the Sécurité Sociale is a straightforward process, primarily conducted online. Here’s a quick guide:

  1. Registration: Sign up via official website.
  2. Form: Fill in the mandatory information: last name, first name(s); date of birth; country of birth, e-mail address, postal address in France, telephone number, start date of health insurance.
  3. Supporting Documents: Submit the following documents: passport, school enrollment certificate, bank account details, birth certificate, valid residence permit.

After submitting your application and documents, you’ll receive a temporary social security number, allowing you to access healthcare services. A permanent number will be provided upon the validation of your documents and insurance of your carte vitale. Keep the temporary social security number that has been automatically generated for you by the website, and print off your certificate of entitlement.

What is a Carte Vitale?

The Carte Vitale is the health insurance card of the French national healthcare system, Sécurité Sociale. It’s a crucial component for accessing healthcare services in France. The card is personal and contains all the essential information needed to process medical claims and reimbursements efficiently.

sécurité sociale

How Do I Renew My Sécurité Sociale Coverage Each Year?

If you’re continuing your studies in France, your Sécurité Sociale coverage is automatically renewed each academic year as long as you re-enroll in your institution. Ensure your information, especially your banking details and address, is up to date to avoid any disruptions in coverage or reimbursements.

I Haven’t Enrolled in Sécurité Sociale Yet. What Should I Do?

If you’re already living in France and realize you haven’t enrolled in the Sécurité Sociale, it’s crucial to take action immediately. Follow the enrollment steps mentioned above to ensure you’re covered. Delaying this process can lead to unnecessary stress and financial burden in the event of health issues.

What Healthcare Services Does Sécurité Sociale Cover?

Sécurité Sociale provides coverage for a comprehensive range of healthcare services, including general practitioner and specialist visits, hospitalization, maternity care, and prescription drugs. It typically covers a portion of these costs, with the possibility to cover the remaining amount through supplementary insurance.

Do I Need Supplementary Health Insurance Besides Sécurité Sociale?

While Sécurité Sociale covers a significant portion of healthcare costs, having a mutuelle (supplementary health insurance) is advisable to cover the remaining expenses not fully reimbursed. This is optional but can reduce out-of-pocket expenses for healthcare services.

Discover our partner travel and health insurance here:

How Do I Use My Sécurité Sociale for Healthcare Services?

Once enrolled, you’ll receive a temporary social security number, followed by a permanent one and a health insurance card (Carte Vitale). Present this card at appointments and pharmacies to access covered healthcare services and medications, with most of the costs directly billed to Sécurité Sociale.

sécurité sociale

Can I Keep my Sécurité Sociale Coverage if I Travel or Leave France?

Your coverage primarily applies within France. For short trips within the European Union, you can obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) for emergency services. If you leave France permanently or for an extended period, your Sécurité Sociale coverage doesn’t automatically continue, but you don’t need to formally cancel it.

Do I Have to Cancel If I Leave France?

If you decide to leave France, either temporarily or permanently, you do not need to formally cancel your Sécurité Sociale coverage. However, it’s important to update your address in your account to receive any pending reimbursements. Should you return to France in the future for studies or work, you can reactivate your coverage.

Share this article

Go! Go! France

Search articles

Popular posts

French Culture
French Culture


We at Go! Go! France are all about turning your dreams of living and studying in France into reality!

Go! Go! France Blog

Related articles

Every summer, France comes alive with the sounds of music during the Fête de la Musique. This annual event, celebrated on June 21st, marks the start of summer and transforms cities and towns into open-air music festivals. For international students, the Fête de la Musique offers a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in French culture,...
One of the practical concerns for students moving to France is finding affordable and convenient dining options. This is where the “Restaurant Universitaire” (RU) system, known as student cafeterias, comes into play. This article will explore how student cafeterias work, how much they cost, who can use them, and where they are located. What is...
Pop culture has an undeniable influence on languages around the world, and the French language is no exception. This article explores how the vibrant world of pop culture impacts the French language, shaping slang, expressions, and everyday communication. The Evolution of Slang One of the most noticeable ways pop culture affects the French language is...
Father’s Day, known as “La Fête des Pères” in French, is a special occasion to honour and appreciate fathers and father figures in France. For international students living and studying in France, participating in this celebration can be a delightful way to immerse yourself in French culture and show appreciation to the father figures in...
Planning to study and live in France? Whether you’re looking to immerse yourself in Parisian culture, experience the vibrant life in Lyon, or enjoy the coastal charm of Nice, booking your flight tickets to France is the first step towards your adventure. This guide will help you navigate where to book, when to book, and...

Contact us

Any questions? We are here to help