FAQS - Health insurance & CVEC


This page answers all your questions about applying for a residence permit.


Click on one of the links to go directly to the section you’re interested in.


Health Insurance, Social Security and CPAM

>>> I have a student residence permit and I would like to register with Social Security. How can I do this? 

You must register at etudiant-etranger.ameli.fr to be eligible for French health insurance. 
For more information, see the Assurance Maladie website. 
Watch Campus France video tutorial: in English, in Spanish

>>> I am a European student (*) on an exchange programme. Do I have to register with Social Security? 

No, you will continue to be covered by the health system in your own country throughout your stay in France.

You will only have to pay the “patient’s contribution” to your medical costs and your health insurance fund will reimburse the rest (depending on the system in force). 

You must remember to apply for an EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) before your departure or check that your existing card will not expire before the end of your stay. You will need to show it to every healthcare professional you see.  

>>> How much does it cost to register with Assurance Maladie? 

Registration with Assurance Maladie is free of charge.

 >>> What is my Social Security number used for? 

It is a unique personal identification number that is assigned to you for life. 
Healthcare professionals, the CAF, your employer, etc. will ask you for this number.
For more information, see the Assurance Maladie website. 

 >>> I am a foreign researcher working in France. How do I sign up for health insurance? 

If you are employed in France, you must register with Assurance Maladie. This will cover all your medical costs in France. 
You can sign up yourself or through your employer by contacting your Caisse Primaire d’Assurance Maladie (CPAM), which will issue you with a social security number. 

If you are European (*) and have been seconded to France, click here for more information. 

If you are a European(*) expatriate, click here

If you are a third-country national with a Talent Passport residence permit, please contact CMI Rennes. Contact: cmi-euraxess@univ-rennes2.fr 

>>> I am a researcher conducting research in France but not employed by a French organisation. Am I entitled to social security coverage? 

No, you are not entitled to social security health coverage. 
You must therefore take out private insurance that will cover your medical costs for the length of your stay, at least up to the amount provided for by Assurance Maladie (70%).
This insurance can be taken out via a French company or from your home country. 

Contact CMI Rennes for more information: cmi-euraxess@univ-rennes2.fr 

 >>> What is the difference between the CPAM, Assurance Maladie and Social Security? 

Assurance Maladie is the "Health" branch of the social security system, encompassing healthcare, workplace accidents and occupational illnesses. 

The Caisse Primaire d’Assurance Maladie (CPAM) is more specifically responsible for healthcare costs (reimbursements) and access to care. 

For more details, see the Assurance Maladie website. 

>>> What is the purpose of complementary health insurance/mutual insurance? 

Complementary health insurance, or mutual insurance, covers all or part of the medical costs not covered by Assurance Maladie. 

Complementary health insurance is not mandatory but is strongly recommended. 

For more information, go to Service-Public.fr

>>> My spouse and children have come with me to France. Are they covered by Assurance Maladie? 

It all depends on your situation and their conditions of residence in France. 

If you are registered with Assurance Maladie, your family is entitled to health cover from Assurance Maladie. 

However, this is not the case if your spouse has a Visitor residence permit, for example, and you have a Student residence permit.  

If you yourself do not have a residence permit that allows you to register with Assurance Maladie, your spouse will not be able to either. 

For more information, contact CMI Rennes: cmi-euraxess@univ-rennes2.fr 

>>> I have received a health insurance certificate with a temporary social security number. What is it for? What should I do? 

A provisional social security number (which starts with 7 or 8) is issued when Assurance Maladie has received your registration application but is awaiting further documents or checking your civil status documents (generally your birth certificate). Send the requested documents as quickly as possible and/or wait to receive your permanent social security number. 


Carte Vitale

>>> How do I get a Carte Vitale? 

You must first obtain your permanent social security number from Assurance Maladie. 

Once you have this number, you can apply for your Carte Vitale online by creating an account on Ameli.fr

>>> My Carte Vitale is lost or stolen. What should I do?

If your Carte Vitale is lost or stolen, you can apply for a new one at Ameli.fr

>>> I haven’t received my Carte Vitale yet, but I’ve had to go to the doctor’s. Will the doctor's fees be reimbursed? 

If you have already received your health insurance certificate with your permanent social security number, you can apply for reimbursement of your medical expenses. 

Your health practitioner (doctor, pharmacist) will normally give you a “treatment form” in paper format, which is equivalent to a paid invoice. Complete the form, stating clearly your social security number, and give it to your Caisse Primaire d’Assurance Maladie (with a copy of the prescription if you have one). You will be reimbursed within at least 15 days. 

For more information, see Ameli.fr 


>>> What is the CVEC and what is it used for? 

The CVEC (Contribution de Vie Etudiante et de Campus - Student and Campus Life Contribution) is used to finance social, health, cultural and sports projects on student campuses. 
Watch the Campus France video tutorial about CVEC: in Englishin Spanish

>>> Is the CVEC compulsory?

Yes, it is compulsory for all students

For more information, go to etudiant.gouv.fr 

 >>> When must I pay the CVEC? 

You must pay the CVEC before enrolling in your university or school, 
which will ask to see the receipt before finalising your administrative registration. 

>>> How much is the CVEC?

For 2020/2021, it is €92. All payments must be made online via the dedicated portal

However, you may be exempt from paying the CVEC in certain cases (e.g. Campus France scholarship students). You must provide your university or school with an exemption certificate when you enrol. 


*European: national of a member country of the European Union or the European Economic Area. 


Do you have any questions about your accommodation? Go to FAQs – Accommodation.

Do you have any questions about applying for a residence permit? Go to FAQs – Residence Permits.