French law is going to modify the healthcare system for students enrolling for the first time in 2018/2019 in a French institution of higher education.


International student enrolled in a French educational institution for more than 3 months starting from 1st September are legally obliged* to enrol in the French Social Security Healthcare system, known as la “Sécurité Sociale”.


Students who are nationals and passport holders of European Union countries


  • Students who are nationals and passport-holders of one of the European Union countries can be exempted from this obligation. BUT, in order to be exempted and to avoid paying the annual fee (217€ in 2017/2018), those students must provide one of the following documents :
    • European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) - provided by the national social security service in their home E.U country
    • or Proof of private European health insurance**

Students who are nationals of non-EU countries 

(including Russia, USA, Canada, Mexico, Singapore, Korea, China, Croatia, etc.)

  • Full time students MUST enrol in the French system (governmental policy) since their study period is over 3 months.  However, please note that enrolment in the French system can only start on September 1st, so a private health insurance from the date of arrival in France until 1 September is necessary.

When enrolled in the French system you, as international students, will be entitled to the same medical coverage as French nationals. This means that you will be reimbursed*** for a maximum of 65% of the costs of most types of treatment which you may need during your stay. However, the remaining costs have to be paid for by the patient.  Therefore we strongly recommend that you also take out a complementary health insurance policy (in France this is called a “mutuelle”), which will cover remaining costs and more expensive items such as dental and eye care, repatriation in case of serious illness, etc.



* Please note that this is a ruling imposed by the French government and not by ESSEC.  The cost for academic year 2017-18 is 217€. This cost is reviewed annually in August - Payment is required online during the enrollment process.

** You must bring the original insurance document

*** To be reimbursed, you need a Bank account in France. Necessary information will be given during the enrollment process.