The French Health Insurance System: Best In Europe?


There is no one solution that fits all. The French Health Insurance System has been hailed by many and it works well for France. Would it work well for a larger country like the United States or the most populated countries in the world, China and India? Perhaps not but the French Health Insurance System is one of the best in Europe. Many claim it to be the absolute best in Europe.

The French health care system offers universal healthcare. It is mostly financed by the national health insurance, which is a government initiative. Back in 2000, the World Health Organization rated the France health insurance and healthcare system as the ‘close to best overall health care’ among all other countries of the world.

• One of the reasons why the healthcare system in France is highly appreciated is its expenditure in the sector. The country allocates more than 11% of its GDP to healthcare. This is higher than most countries in the European Union and across Europe. The United States spends more or a higher portion to their GDP than France but it is also a larger country and its needs are substantially more. Around 77% of health expenditures, including federally funded health insurance in France, is accounted for by the government.

• French health insurance works on the basis of socialized medicine. Although many wouldn’t agree with that classification but France does have a socialized medicine approach. The French health insurance policies are directly influenced by the income of an individual or financial condition of a family. Those who earn more pay more premiums. Those who earn less get greater subsidies.

Watch this great video clip: Is the French Health Insurance System really the best?

A decade back, the French health Insurance system included expats who moved from other parts of the European Union. Since 2007, that blanket coverage is not applicable. Today, the French health insurance for expats are selectively available for those who have retired, those who have lived in France for at least five years and those who have an intention to work in the country, business or job. Unless the country of origin is bearing the costs of expats who have taken early retirement and don’t intend to work or run a business in France, one will have to opt for private health insurance in France. That changes when one gets to the retirement age or has spent five years in the country.

Private health insurance in France is costly so expats should consider their options wisely.


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