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Health in France

Complementary and Private Health Insurance Policies

Tuesday 05 May 2015

Complementary health insurance policies and private health insurance policies are not the same.

A great deal of confusion exists about 'complementary health' insurance policies and 'private health' insurance policies in France.

Many people seem to think they are the same, when in fact they are entirely different.

A private health cover policy is basically a policy that stands on its own and is intended for expatriates who are unable to affiliate to the French healthcare system, or who choose not to do so.

Although with a private policy you will use the French health system for your medical treatment, you will not be affiliated or insured through the system. The costs of your treatment will be paid through the policy you hold.

To know the actual terms and premiums for this type of policy a medical questionnaire would have to be submitted for individual underwriting.

Depending on your health, the policy may not be available, or may only be available on a conditional basis or subject to a heavy premium.

A complementary policy on the other hand, although sometimes referred to as a private policy, is nothing of the sort.

Those who take out an 'assurance complementaire', as it is called, are affiliated to the French health system, and the purpose of this policy is to pay that part of the health costs NOT covered by the health system. That is why it is frequently referred to amongst expatriates as a 'top-up' policy.

There is no medical questionnaire to complete, the premium is not subject to your medical condition, and the application does not have to be submitted for individual underwriting.

There are also no age limitations, although your age will affect the level of the premium you pay

The only requirements necessary to obtain a complementary policy are that you are affiliated to the French healthcare system and in possession of a French social security number.

You can discuss your health insurance requirements with our English language speaking health insurance partner, who is able to offer competitive policies for both private health and 'top-up' cover.

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