Plan ahead to get the best from French healthcare

Along with the food, wine, lifestyle and natural scenery of France, the healthcare system is one of the best in the world. But like anything that you aren’t used to, it can seem a little complicated to begin with – so here are a few pointers to help you out.


The first thing to note is that in France you need to pay into the system to get something out. All French residents have access to the state healthcare system but the state doesn’t always pay all the costs of any medical treatment, you have to top up the rest yourself (partial reimbursement). The level of reimbursement will depend on your status, and this is where forward planning comes in. The first crucial thing to consider is where are you deemed resident? Full-time residents in receipt of a state pension can transfer their healthcare rights to France. To find out more, read our online guide to the French healthcare system.