France is definitely one of the traveling destinations in the ‘to-visit checklist’ of most world travelers, with its famous and hidden gems.
However, the idea of something unpleasant, as a sudden accident or health complication, stops many from taking the journey of their life. Many people go throughout such situations while in their trip.
Breaking a limb, getting the flu or a cold, involving in an accident… everything can happen during a trip, just as it would happen if you were at home. That is why everyone should take measures prior to their trip.
French authorities have regulated the issue, by obliging travelers to obtain travel insurance prior to their trip, so those who go through such incidents will have it easier to access medical care.
What is France Travel Insurance?
Travel Medical Insurance is one of the main requirements for a visa to France. It is a type of health insurance in France for foreigners that enter the country for short-stays and it covers all type of medical emergencies.
Do You Need Travel Insurance for France?
All travelers to France are highly recommended to obtain Travel Insurance to France, when heading towards the country. However, a good number of these travelers, depending on their nationality, are not obliged to hold insurance.
If you are still wondering “Do I need travel insurance for France?” note that insurance is obligatory for you, only if you belong to one of the categories listed below:
- You need a visa to enter France for short-stays. A document that proves you have travel insurance that covers the whole territory of Schengen is among the main France visa requirements. Without it, your application would be rejected on the spot.
- You will enter the Schengen Zone through a country that requires travel Insurance for entry to Schengen. Some members of the Schengen zone want all travelers to present proof of having purchased travel insurance when they show up at their port of entry.
Note: Although citizens of countries who do not need a visa for France are not necessarily required to get a France Travel Health insurance, they are strongly advised to do so.
Why Should I Get France Travel Medical Insurance?
As explained above, there are two main reasons why you need to obtain travel insurance to France:
Moreover, this requirement is actually for your own good. If you involve in an accident, the costs of medical care will be bearable for you. On the other hand, if you do not have French travel health insurance, you will have to pay enormous amounts for medical treatment.
You may have heard that France has a very good public health system, and that medical treatment there is cheap. That is true, but only for French nationals and sometimes for the other EU nationals that hold the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).
Third country nationals that need emergency medical care, and lack of travel insurance, will have to pay very high prices for the medical treatment they receive in France or any other EU country. Even repatriation in case of death will cost to their family a fortune.
What Does a France Travel Insurance Policy Usually Cover?
When you get your travel insurance to France, you should be aware that it does not automatically cover every incident in which you involve. The French travel insurance companies have very strict policies according to which they decide the type incidents they cover, and the ones they do not.
Most of the Travel Insurance Companies cover the following:
- Emergency medical expenses. Any unforeseen accident or illness that requires emergent treatment during the trip in France.
- Repatriation to your home country in case of death.
- Annulment and shortening of trip. In case you have to cancel your trip or have to head home early, due to circumstance you cannot manage.
- Cover for delay and missed departures. In the event that circumstances beyond your control, such as a flash flood, make you miss your flight.
- Cover for travel abandonment. If problems arise during your trip and face difficulties to get to your destination.
- Cover for lost and stolen baggage.
- Cover for the loss or theft of your passport.
What Does France Travel Insurance Policy NOT Cover?
There are some specific things that a French Travel Insurance does not cover, which are as follows:
- Pre-existing medical conditions.
- Unexpected incidents due to extraordinary situations. Such as terrorism, war, civil unrest or the effects of certain natural disasters that affect your holiday.
- Alcohol-related incidents. If you hurt yourself or someone else while under the influence of alcohols on your holiday in France, your insurer will not probably cover your expenses.
- Accidents or injuries that occur during adventure or winter sports, e. or and snowboarding.
How to Choose the Best Travel Medical Insurance?
When you try to get Travel Insurance to France, you will see that most companies offer different insurance plans, among which you can select the one that fits you best according to your situation. The services they offer also depend on how much you are willing to pay. You will have the opportunity to select the services you want the insurance company to provide for you, during your trip in France.
Listed and explained below, find the most common travel insurance policy plans:
If you are planning to visit France for a specific amount of time, without having another visit in mind any time soon, this plan will fit you best. This is the standard travel medical policy since it covers only the specific amount of days in which you plan to be in France.
If you plan to take several trips to France within a year, you should select this policy, which is annual.
If you are traveling to France as a group of five or more people, you can get the travel insurance group plan, often with a lower price than if you would individually purchase it.
If you are instead planning to temporarily move to France, most companies offer you two choices:
- Emergency medical and emergency evacuation coverage – which will cover you for a year.
- Travel major medical plan, which covers you all the expenses just as normal health insurance would, back home.
A policy offered exclusively for students, of which you can benefit if you are traveling to France under the purpose of attending study courses, for either short-stay or long-stay.
How Does French Health Travel Insurance Work?
You may be wondering how travel insurance works, and if you need to inform the insurer in case of an emergency, at the time of the occurrence or later. Below find explained everything you need to know how Travel Insurance in France works.
- When you buy travel insurance for France, your insurer will provide you with a document that you can download. Submit this document to the French embassy/consulate to prove you have travel insurance for France visa, if you need a visa. Along with this confirmation document, you will also get a card, with your name and ID number on it, as well as the name of the insurer. In case of an emergency in France, you will have to use this card.
- Your health insurance coverage starts in the moment you leave your country and ends the moment you return. From that moment on, until it ends, everything that happens to you (and is included in your insurance policy) will be covered by your insurer.
- Remember your Travel Insurance Card? When you receive a service for an occurrence in France, show them this card, to prove you have insurance.
How do payments with Travel Insurance Work?
Depending on your insurer and your insurance plan, the payment for medical care you receive in France may be made in two forms:
- Direct billing. The medical facility where you receive medical care, will register your data and send the bill to your insurer. Your insurer will then need to complete the payments.
- Reimbursement. You will pay the expenses of the service you receive and obtain a bill. You will then send this bill to your insurer, who will reimburse you.
French Travel Medical Insurance Costs
Travel Medical Insurance for France is actually cheaper than you would have thought it is. The cost of Travel Insurance to France depends a lot on your choices and what you wish to have covered.
You will have to pay less if:
- your trip is short
- you fall into a category for which your insurance company has reduced prices (i.e. younger groups)
- you choose a lower overall maximum coverage limit
French Healthcare System
France pays close attention to the health of its citizens travelers in its territory. The French health care system is known as one of the best in the world, not only regarding its quality, but the way it is organized as well. In 2000, World Health Organization asserted that France provided the “close to best overall health care” in the world.
The French government is pretty involved in controlling health expenditures, and it approximately 77% of health expenditures are covered by government funded agencies.
In France, healthcare is financed in two ways. Through:
- Public Health Insurance, also known as the Statutory Health Insurance.
- Private Health Insurance, also known as Voluntary Health Insurance.
Publicly financed health insurance
According to French Laws on Healthcare, Public Health Insurance is available for all French citizens. Undocumented migrants waiting a reply on their residency application are covered by the state finance health services. Whereas, nationals of the EU countries in a visit in France can use their EU Health Insurance cards in case of need.
Privately financed health insurance
Those wishing extra health services, which are minimally covered by the public insurance, as vision and dental care, can obtain voluntary health insurance. Third-world country nationals are obliged to hold private travel insurance valid for the whole Schengen area, when visiting France.