Health Insurance in France: A Guide for Overseas Employers

France has a reputation for offering both excellent medical care and universal coverage that is available to virtually everyone.  As an employer, you will need to understand how to register your employees and make the correct contributions to fund coverage. 

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When you hire overseas employees, you will find yourself in a new health insurance system, which may be more or less comprehensive than in your home country.  Many countries do offer public universal healthcare coverage, which is funded by taxes or social security contributions.

France has a reputation for offering both excellent medical care and universal coverage that is available to virtually everyone.  As an employer, you will need to understand how to register your employees and make the correct contributions to fund coverage.  This guide will give you the information to get started, but having in-country support may be helpful.

How does the healthcare system in France work?

Healthcare in France is mandatory for all residents, either through a public or private scheme.  The French public health insurance program (PUMA) is available to both citizens and expats who have been in France for at least three consecutive months, and have a principal home and intention to stay at least six months per year. 

Likewise, employees are eligible through their social security contributions, from the very first day of work, and don’t have to meet the residency rules.  Family members of employees are also covered by PUMA right away, and there is no longer a requirement for employees to have contributed a certain amount to qualify.

The PUMA reimburses the individual for medical costs at a rate of 70-80% depending on the healthcare provider, with the remainder as a copay.  If you have a health card you don’t have to make payments upfront, but reimbursements only take five to ten business days...read more

Shield GEO makes international employment simple. Our customers use Shield GEO employer of record to employ and payroll hundreds of workers in over fifty countries. Find out more.

Tim Burgess

Director, Shield GEO Services Ltd

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