Purchasing health insurance

In France, health insurance is compulsory, and is made up of:
  • a compulsory basic health insurance (Social Security), ensuring reimbursements of medical expenses up to 70% of costs incurred,
  • an optional additional health insurance, called mutual insurance (« mutuelle »), which covers the remaining 25% of costs incurred, sometimes 30% in case of illness or hospitalisation.
It is therefore strongly advised to obtain additional insurance.

European Union students:

For all students from EU universities coming to a French university or other higher education establishment, the EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) exempts them from French student health insurance schemes, and covers most medical or pharmaceutical costs incurred in France. It is, however, advised to purchase additional health insurance to avoid any potential difficulties.

Non European students:

Since October 2000, foreign students have been under the legal obligation to buy into the student social security scheme or the basic health insurance scheme, even when they already have domestic health coverage.

Your student social security membership will be processed when you enrol in your university faculty.

The 2 main student social security agencies are:


16 rue des Vieilles Boucheries
86000 Poitiers
Tél : +33 (0)969 369 601


73 rue de la Cathédrale
86000 Poitiers

These agencies propose both compulsory basic health insurance and optional additional health insurance for the student social security scheme.

Non European students over 28 years of age:

Check with the CPAM (the French Social Security Office) which will advise you on the extent of the coverage required according to your personal situation.

CPAM de la Vienne (Caisse primaire d’assurance maladie)

41, rue du Touffenet
86043 Poitiers cedex 9
Tél : +33 (0)8 20 90 41 41

Université de Poitiers - 15, rue de l'Hôtel Dieu - TSA 71117 - 86073 POITIERS Cedex 9 - France - Tél : (33) (0)5 49 45 30 00 - Fax : (33) (0)5 49 45 30 50 - webmaster@univ-poitiers.fr