Complementary health insurance

La mutuelle or complementary health insurance is optional. It provides medical coverage. Social Security does not fully cover medical bills. The mutuelle covers most or all of the remainder. It is important to have a mutuelle when medical costs are high (example: operations, dental and vision fees...) This significantly lowers out of pocket expenses.

Please note

It is not possible to purchase complementary insurance without a social security number (to register with the CPAM, see our column Health insurance.)

Two options are available for you and your family : 

  • A Mutuelle offered by the employer

In general, salaried employees are offered collective complementary health insurance by their employer. This has become mandatory in the private sector. This is however not obligatory in the public sector. In case complementary health insurance is not provided, one must buy it from an insurance company.

  • Complementary health insurance bought through a company

Each mutuelle has varying coverage and pricing. It is important to compare the different quotes.

We can also provide a non-exhaustive list of mutuelles.

Depending on your personal situation and your income, you might be eligible for the Complémentaire santé solidaire.

There is also what is called the Complémentaire santé solidaire, which is a complementary health insurance designed for lower incomes. This mutuelle can help you cover your medical expenses that are not covered by the Sécurité Sociale. Please find detailed information on the Social Security website.

The Complémentaire santé solidaire is a free or low cost (depending on your situation and income) complementary health insurance. To be eligible you must:

  1. Live in France for at least 3 month;
  2. Be in France legally;
  3. Your monthly income is below a certain limit.

You can apply for the complémentaire santé solidaire :

  • online via your compte ameli ;
  • by filling in this form and sending it together with the required additional documents to your health insurance.