Take out a private health insurance policy known as a “mutuelle

To be reimbursed as much as possible for your healthcare expenses, it is generally advised to take out a private health insurance policy known as a “mutuelle”. It is complementary to the state health insurance system known as social security or “sécurité sociale”.

Verified by Comede on 29/11/2023

How does it work?

In France, a “mutuelle” is a private health insurance policy that reimburses all or part of medical costs not covered by the state health insurance system known as “sécurité sociale”. 

You can take out a “mutuelle” insurance policy individually and add family members if you wish, such as your children.

You have to pay a monthly fee, which is between EUR 30 and EUR 100 per month, on average.

If you have limited financial resources, you may be able to benefit from the “Complémentaire santé solidaire (CSS)”, which is a free or low-cost state-funded “mutuelle”.

Who can benefit?

Anyone who is registered for state health insurance system such as the general system known as “Protection universelle maladie (Puma)” (also known as “sécurité sociale”) can take out a complementary health insurance policy or “mutuelle”.

Alternatively, you can contact organisations that offer “mutuelles” to find out if they accept subscriptions from people who do not have social security or “sécurité sociale”.

How to apply

Many companies offer “mutuelles”. It is advisable to compare several offers before choosing the right one for you by comparing their rates and reimbursement guarantees.

  • If you work in France, your company is obliged to offer you a “mutuelle” for employees. You can ask your employer what the conditions are to benefit from this. The company generally covers some of the cost of the “mutuelle”.
  • Some “mutuelles” offer flexible packages, which allow you to add or remove cover according to your needs.

Once you have chosen your “mutuelle” and the guarantees included, you will then need to sign a contract. The company will tell you the steps to be followed and the documents to be provided, including a bank identity document known as a “relevé d’identité bancaire (RIB)” so that you can receive reimbursements straight into your account.

After the application

Following your registration, your “mutuelle” will notify the organisation that manages your health insurance entitlements, known as the “caisse d’assurance maladie”, if you are registered. You can check on your state health insurance account, for example ameli.fr,  to check that your “mutuelle” has been linked to your account.

Most of the time, you will be able to benefit from remote transmission, a system that allows your “caisse d’assurance maladie” to automatically notify your “mutuelle” of any healthcare costs that have not been reimbursed. This means:

  • You will not need to take any additional steps.
  • Once your “mutuelle” receives the notification, they will reimburse your medical costs up to the limit of the guarantees included in your policy.
  • You will receive the reimbursements directly to your bank account.

Find support

In France, there are many services that can support you, give you advice, and assist you with procedures and paperwork. Most of them are free of charge.

  • The "PIMMS Médiation" are organisations that inform, guide or support in administrative procedures in many areas: access to public services, access to health care, applications for state financial assistance, tax declarations, declarations to “France Travail”, etc.

    • This service is free of charge.
    • Languages available: mainly French.
    • Contact: you can find a “PIMMS Médiation” near you in this directory.
  • Social workers or “travailleurs sociaux” and “assistants sociaux” are professionals who support people in their administrative procedures and help them find solutions according to the difficulties they are faced with.

    • These services are free of charge.
    • You can make an appointment to receive personalised advice according to your situation and help you with the next steps, for example: applications for state financial assistance, applications for social housing, registration with the French unemployment office “France Travail”, etc.
    • Available languages: mainly French.
    • Contact: you can request an appointment with a “travailleur social” with:

While the utmost care has gone into providing you with the most accurate and up to date information, this page is not intended to replace legal or professional advice. Laws and procedures change regularly so it is important to consult qualified professionals.

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