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Health in France

Help With Health Costs in France

Thursday 04 July 2013

The income thresholds granting access to assistance with health costs have been substantially increased.

The costs of health care in France are generally very modest, particularly if you are retired, as no statutory insurance premiums are payable and most care costs are reimbursed.

However, unless you are daredevil enough to 'pay-as-you-go', even retired persons generally need to take out complementary 'top-up' insurance, whilst other groups also pay a percentage of their income to one or another of the statutory schemes.

Assistance towards the health costs for those on a modest income comes in two forms, depending on the level of your income and whether you hold a complementary health insurance policy.

i. Couverture Maladie Universelle – Complementaire (CMU-C)

If you are covered for health through the statutory CMU de base, you may well be entitled to obtain assistance with your insurance premiums and care costs.

The assistance is provided through the Couverture Maladie Universelle – Complementaire (CMU-C), which enables you to obtain free affiliation to the French health system, as well as payment of most of your medical costs.

If you run a small business and you are on a low income, you would also be able to obtain 100% recovery of your costs through the CMC-C.

There has recently been a substantial increase in the maximum income thresholds that grant access to the CMC-C. The new thresholds are as follows:

CMC-C Income Thresholds
1 Person
2 Persons€12,889
3 Persons€15,467
4 Persons€18,045
Each Additional Person


There are particular rules that apply in the calculation of your income, as a supplement is added if you do not rent or have a mortgage.

You can read more in our pages at Couverture Maladie Universelle.

ii. L’aide à l’acquisition d’une complémentaire santé (ACS)

If you have a complementary ‘top-up’ health insurance policy you may be entitled to assistance with the insurance premiums.

The assistance is available by the L’aide à l’acquisition d’une complémentaire santé (ACS).

The level of the assistance depends on your age, but it is €500 per person for a couple aged at least 60 years, equivalent to €1,000 a year!

Entitlement to support is subject to a test of resources. Your income cannot be greater than 35% of the CMC-C income thresholds.

The revised thresholds are as follows:

ACS Income Thresholds
1 Person
2 Persons
3 Persons€20,881
4 Persons€24,361
Each Additional Person


Again, particular rules application over the calculation of your income.

You can read more in our pages at Assistance with Health Insurance Premiums.

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