🇫🇷 Healthcare in France

Henning Wandsleb
Henning Wandsleb
  • Updated

Oyster policy is denoted in purple.


France provides comprehensive public healthcare to its citizens, operating through agencies at the national and regional level, as well as through various public organizations. At the national level, the government is responsible for implementing healthcare delivery, and supervising and financing healthcare facilities. At the regional level, local healthcare agencies manage preventative health and supportive care. Their primary responsibility is to ensure efficient execution and access to the healthcare system.

Healthcare in France is composed of both compulsory and complementary health insurance schemes.

Compulsory health insurance

The compulsory basic health insurance system (l’Assurance Maladie) is mandatory and involves funding from employer and employee contributions. Employers register new employees for the system using the pre-employment declaration (DPAE). Following registration, employees are assigned a local health insurance fund to track and manage employee benefit entitlements.

Oyster complies with DPAE requirements.

The compulsory health insurance system also includes the Occupational Risks branch, which:

  • Provides worker’s compensation benefits to people suffering from occupational accidents and illnesses;
  • Sets worker’s compensation rates for companies;
  • And issues rules and guidelines to prevent occupational accidents.

For more information on compulsory healthcare contributions, see section on Taxes.

Oyster complies with the statutory requirements related to compulsory health insurance in France. Contributions are made via payroll on a monthly basis.

Complementary health insurance

As of 2016, employers must offer complementary health insurance, known as mutual (mutuelle). Basic health insurance only covers about 70% of medical expenses, so employers must negotiate for an additional plan to reimburse the remaining expenses.

Complementary insurance covers all expenses that aren’t covered under the compulsory basic healthcare scheme, including: co-payments; daily hospital fees; dental costs; and optical costs.

Employers must provide a 50% minimum contribution to any complementary scheme that’s in place. In many cases collective bargaining agreements set higher contribution thresholds.

Oyster complies with the statutory requirements related to complementary health insurance in France. 

All contributions to this scheme are split equally (50:50) between Oyster and the team member and may not be changed on an individual basis as our scheme is collective and applies to all our team members. Contributions are made via payroll on a monthly basis.

Team members are obliged to subscribe to this scheme, unless they can justify a reason for exemption provided for by law. They may request an exemption including for the following reasons:

  • At the time of hire, they already have individual complementary health insurance. This reason for exemption is only valid until the renewal date of the individual contract. Beyond that, they will have to adhere to Oyster’s contract;
  • If they benefit from an assistance scheme (eg. Solidarity Supplementary Health - Complémentaire Santé Solidaire) until this benefit ceases;
  • The complementary health insurance of their partner, or parents, covers them on a mandatory basis;
  • They are hired under a fixed-term contract of which the duration exceeds 12 months and they already have individual complementary health insurance;
  • They are hired under a fixed-term contract of which the duration is less than 12 months;
  • They are hired under a part-time contract and the cost of the contribution exceeds 10% of their salary.


Although the coverage of the dependents (children or spouse) of the employee is not compulsory, the employer can decide to cover them as well.

Oyster’s complementary health insurance scheme may cover a team member’s spouse (or common law partner) as well as their children (under the age of 25; no limit applies to the number of children). Contributions for dependents are split equally (50:50) between Oyster and the team member and are made via payroll on a monthly basis.

It is customary and often mandatory for employers to provide a welfare scheme ("prévoyance").

Oyster provides such a welfare scheme.

Best in Class

Best in class companies cover 100% of contributions for their team members and their dependents.

Was this article helpful?

0 out of 0 found this helpful

Have more questions? Submit a request