If you’re a student in France, you normally get health coverage by signing up for a student mutuelle, like SMEREP or LMDE when you enroll in university.
The cost of €211 must be paid by all students who aren’t covered under their parents’ insurance, and those who do not have a valid work contract that covers their health plan for the academic year (October 1 – September 30).
But of course, there’s no limit on how old you can be as a student in France – so what if you’re a mature student without healthcare coverage?
Universal Health Coverage – Couverture Maladie Universelle (CMU)
The Conseil Constitutionnel (Supreme Court) of France has ruled that all foreigners in “situation regulière” (with current immigration paperwork) are eligible for health coverage under France’s universal healthcare mandate, which means students of any age can enroll in a healthcare plan. In fact, this coverage extends to anyone who can prove a regular, permanent residence in France with proper immigration paperwork for more than 3 months.
How can I enroll in CMU?
Enrolling in CMU is not automatic, and you have to fill out a form with CPAM (Caisse Primaire de l’Assurance Maladie) and provide proof of your status and your income. in order to be eligible.
You will have to provide the following documents:
- A copy of your passport and current carte de séjour
- Copies of at least 3 quittances de loyer or utilities bills, proving regular residence in France for at least 3 months
- Copies of previous tax returns or payslips, even if the amount was earned outside of France and is not taxed in France. Use 2012 tax returns for a CMU application in 2014.
- A copy of your enrollment certificate in your university program
- A birth certificate with official translation
If you are eligible, your spouse and dependents automatically become eligible as well.
What does CMU cover?
If approved, your CMU will cover all of your basic medical expenses, up to the amount normally paid by sécurité sociale. This means, for example, that doctor’s visits will be reimbursed up to 70% of the “tarif conventionné”, as long as you follow the “parcours de soins” by going to a primary care physician to get referrals to other doctors.
CMU does not cover the daily forfeitary rate for hospital stays, which is currently €18. This means that if you have to stay in the hospital, you’ll pay the €18 per day out of pocket, along with other non reimbursed costs. (There shouldn’t be many).
How much does CMU cost?
CMU is free if your yearly income was less than €9.534 in 2012 for an application in 2014.
If your income is over this amount, you’ll pay 8% of the amount that goes over this limit.
Thus, if you made €15.000 in 2012, you’ll pay (€15.000 – €9.534) x 8% = €437. You can pay this amount in quarterly installments.
Am I eligible for the CMU Complémentaire?
The CMU complémentaire is a mutuelle that covers medical costs not normally reimbursed by CMU. This means that CMUC will cover the non-reimbursed 30% of medical visits, the “forfait journalier” of €18 per day for hospital stays, and certain vision and dental care expenses.
The CMUC is only available to low-income residents of France, and the income cap is relatively low. Single people with no children are eligible if their yearly income (for two years’ prior) was under €8.593, while 2-person households are eligible if their annual income was under €12.889.
If you are not eligible for the CMU complémentaire, you can purchase the mutuelle coverage of your choice to cover any additional medical expenses you may have.
How do I apply for CMU?
After you have completed your OFII medical visit and been a residence of France for at least 3 months, you can complete an application and bring the documents to your local CPAM office. They will advise you on whether or not any additional documentation is necessary, and let you know how long it will take for your file to be examined.
Once your application has been accepted, they will issue an “attestation d’affiliation” that proves you have health insurance, and enables you to have your health expenses paid directly.
If you’re in Paris, the CPAM office is located at 15 rue des Fillettes, Paris 18th. Metro Marx Dormoy, line 12.