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Health insurance for a foreigner on holiday (or short stay) in France

Verified 19 February 2020 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

European (EEA)

If you make a short stay in France as an insured national of the European Economic Area (EEA), you must hold a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). This allows you to benefit from the care of your care in France by accessing the French health system more easily. To obtain this card, and before leaving for France, you must apply to your health insurance organization.

To benefit from the CEAM, you must:

  • be insured by a social security scheme of a Member State the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland,
  • and stay temporarily in France.

No matter your status (worker, student, pensioner, entitled ...) and the reason for your stay (weekend, holidays, studies, language or professional stay...).

You must apply for your MAF before departure, from the relevant health insurance organization in your country of affiliation.

Each person in your family must have their own MAF, including your children.

In some European countries, the CEAM is confused with the national health insurance card.

Check with your local health insurance organization.

Your CEAM allows you to:

  • to benefit in France from unforeseen and medically necessary care (care that cannot wait for your return to your country),
  • and to be reimbursed for your health expenses (medical, pharmaceutical, dental, hospitalization and laboratory tests).

You can contact a doctor or a registered or registered care facility.

You benefit from the same conditions of access to care as the insured French.

Depending on the professional consulted (for example, a liberal doctor, a mutual health center or a public hospital), you may or may not be required to advance the costs.

If you pay the professional, you can be reimbursed back in your country, with your affiliate organization, on presentation of the invoices and your proof of payment. Your organization will tell you how to proceed.

You can also be reimbursed in France by the primary health insurance fund of the place of care on presentation of proof (medical prescription, sheet of care...).

Check with the local caisse.

Who shall I contact


you can search by department health professionals and their prices .. The different rates of reimbursement of health expenses can also be consulted (part of the expenses are usually borne by the insured).

If the doctor or hospital in France refuses your CEAM, you can ask your health insurance organization to intervene.

If your approach does not solve the problem, you can ask Solvit for help.

Submit a complaint to Solvit

If you have forgotten your CEAM you can be treated in France but you must make the advance of all your medical expenses, including your hospital care.

Once back in your country, you can get a refund from your health insurance organization. Keep your invoices and payment vouchers well. They will be requested.

Nationals of another country

If you are a citizen of a country not belonging to the European Economic Area, contact your local health insurance before coming to France.