Health services for foreigners in France

The French state provides medical care for all people living in France. In some cases, you can even benefit from special programs for people with financial problems. If you are not covered by the system of your country of origin and you are not eligible for basic Social Security schemes (which includes medical insurance), you can benefit from two specific systems of medical care, Universal Medical Insurance Coverage (CMU) or Help State Medical (AME).

CMU, Universal Health Insurance

French residents not covered by other insurance may be eligible for CMU (Couverture Maladie Universelle) coverage, which provides maternity and sickness coverage in the same proportion as the general Social Security schemes. There are two types of CMU:

 Basic CMU (base CMU)

You pay medical expenses and these are redeemable according to the defined. If the annual income is less than € 6,721 this is free. If they are higher, a small level of contribution is paid.

Supplementary CMU (CMU complémentaire)

 Membership to the CMU supplementary is free if you qualify, and no payment is required for any medical expenses (doctors, prescribed medications, hospitalization, veterinary – par ici – etc.). The household income must be below a certain level depending on the number of inhabitants of the household. If it is just one person, the income must be below € 566.50. If they are 2 people, it has to be below € 849.75. If they are 3 people, the incomes cannot be more than € 1,019.70. If they are 4 people at home, the income must be under € 1,189.65. For more than 4 people: € 226.60 for each additional person.


To be eligible for any CMU you must have an uninterrupted residence in France for at least three months (receipts from rent/telephone/electricity accounts, etc.); People who are homeless or in temporary/mobile accommodation should contact their local CAS (Center Communal d’Action Sociale) to obtain the required documentation. You need to have the national identity card and / or passport for EU citizens and / or residence permission (titre de séjour, carte de séjour).

How to apply for CMU?

You must send your request to one of the following organizations: Caisse d’Assurance Maladie (Medical insurance body), CCAS (Center Communal d’Action Sociale), Local council (Mairie), Local social services, some hospitals or other service provider doctors. The request must include: the Form n ° S 3710 ‘Couverture Maladie Universelle – Basic protection’ for basic complete CMU, or forms n ° S 3711, S 3712 and S 3713 for complementary CMU. Photocopy (s) of identity documents of all members of the house (with photographs in case of adults). The person needs to present document of residence (for citizens outside the EU). And lastly, proof of income.  If the application is accepted, you will receive a CMU certificate and a Carte Vitale, which allows you to access medical care in the same proportion as the general Social Security scheme.

Assistance or Medical Assistance of the State (AME) What is it?

The AME, Assistance or Medical Assistance of the State, is a system that allows foreigners in an irregular situation (without a residence permit) to obtain health coverage. It is granted for a period of one year (the renewal must be requested, it is NOT automatic).

Conditions of access to the AME

Being in an irregular situation: not having a title de séjour (permission to stay) or being in the process of obtaining one. If the residence situation is regularized, you have the right to another type of healthcare. You must reside in France uninterruptedly for more than three months (this does not apply to minors, who are automatically entitled regardless of the time they have in France). If the person is SDF (without a fixed address), he / she can be domiciled in a community social action center (CCAS) or in an accepted association. Comply with the conditions of resources (do not exceed a maximum limit set per year). The revenues that are taken into account for this are those of the last year.

What does the AME cover?

The AME covers the same as the social security of both the applicant and their dependents (person with whom they live as a couple, children under 16 or children up to 20 years if they are studying). There is no need to pay medical expenses in advance.

How is it requested?

 To apply for the AME, you must fill out form cerfa n ° 11573 and submit it to the corresponding CPAM (caisse primaire d’assurance maladie) or dentist ( dentiste de garde ) services. There are agencies that can help to do this.  The documents that must be attached to the dossier are indicated on the following form: You need an identity document (passport, old titre de séjour, family book, etc.). You must present a document proving residence in France for more than three months (rental agreement, stamp of entry to the country in the passport, electricity bill, telephone, etc.). You must have a document attesting the income of the last 12 months. And an identity photo with the name, surnames and date of birth of all the applicants of the AME (applicant and their dependents).

How do I know if I have been granted SMA?

 Once the application dossier has been sent, the CPAM will contact the applicant within a maximum period of two months to collect his health card. If after this time there is no news of the CPAM is that the dossier has been discarded.

What is the cost of AME?

Nothing, it’s completely free.

How long and how is it renewed?

 The AME lasts one year from the moment it is requested. To renew it, the same procedure must be carried out two months before the health card expires.

What do I do if the dossier has been rejected?

The rejection of the dossier can be appealed in the following two months after receiving the rejection (although it is possible that they do not notify anything). To do this, it is necessary to contact the CPAM or the departmental social assistance commission (CDAS).