Health insurance for international students In order to have your healthcare costs reimbursed, you will need to register with the French public health insurance fund, called the CPAM. This health insurance is free for students. First step: register on the Health Insurance website (“Assurance Maladie”).
Registering on the Health Insurance website
By law, you must register once you arrive in France and have paid the Contribution to Student and Campus Life (CVEC) to the CROUS and carried out administrative formalities with your higher education institution. To help you register, a step-by-step guide is available on the CPAM website, available in French, English and Spanish (with assistance in Mandarin and Arabic).
You have requested housing benefits from the CAF
If you have submitted a housing benefit request to the CAF before registering with the public health insurance fund, you may receive the following message:
“Your request via the website https://etudiant-etranger.ameli.fr has been rejected (you can no longer modify it) because: You have a permanent social security number and you need to register with the CPAM in your place of residence.”
or the following message appears on the website when you try to register:
“We are unable to process your registration request: a number has already been assigned to you.”
In both cases, you will need to go to the CPAM office in your place of residence and apply to register under the PUMA scheme, providing proof that you are a regular, stable resident. These applications must include the following documents in addition to the registration request:
- proof of identity (national identity card, passport, etc.);
- proof that you are enrolled in a higher education institution for the academic year in question;
- your bank account details (RIB). This document is not mandatory straight away - you can still register without it.