French health system is a copay one. The social security, through Assurance Maladie obligatoire, finances part of the health costs.
For this reason, it is convenient to contract a second health insurance complementing the basic one, known as mutuelle or Assurance Complémentaire Santé. It reimburses the remaining cost or services not covered by social security.
If you work for a French company and have a local contract, your company will propose you to subscribe an Assurance Complémentaire Santé, so you will also have the option to integrate your partner and children.
The cost of basic insurance is paid as a social contribution in your payroll, its cost depends on your salary; however, la mutuelle consists of a fixed fee that will depend on the medical services covered, not on your salary. This second insurance is partly financed by the employer.
Coordinated health care circuit
Regarding the cost covered by social security, it is important to respect the coordinated health care circuit, which means to first go to your general practitioner ( except for few services such as urgencies, gynecology, ophthalmology, dentist or psychiatrist for children below 26 years old). Otherwise, the Assurance Maladie will reimburse a lower amount.
For more information, please press here.