What is a Vital Card / Carte Vitale ?

THE VITAL CARD (CARTE VITALE) :
YOUR GOLDEN TICKET FOR MEDICAL EXPENSE REIMBURSEMENT

You might have heard about the carte vitaleΒ (vital card) but are wondering what exactly it is and what it is used for. Don’t worry, we’ll explain everything about this small card that plays a big role in the French healthcare system. πŸ₯

A HEALTH INSURANCE CARD πŸ§‘πŸ»β€βš•οΈ

The carte vitale is a health insurance card issued to every insured person under the general scheme of Social Security in France. It contains all the necessary information to allow you to benefit from your health insurance rights. Basically, it’s like your ID card for the French healthcare system. πŸ’³

⚠️ A little reminder for International/Erasmus students:

πŸ‘‰πŸ» Registration with the French Social Security is only mandatory for students who do not have a European Health Insurance Card. If you have one, you do not need to register and therefore do not need a carte vitale! Your medical expenses will be covered by your home country’s system.

πŸ‘‰πŸ» If you DO NOT have a European Health Insurance Card, you are required to register with the French Social Security!

WHAT IS THE CARTE VITALE USED FOR? πŸ€”

The carte vitale allows you to enjoy several benefits:

  • Simplified reimbursement of medical expenses: When you visit a healthcare professional (doctor, pharmacist, dentist, etc.), you present your carte vitale. The information is then electronically transmitted to Social Security, which simplifies the reimbursement process. πŸ’°
  • Waiver of advance payment: In many cases, you don’t need to pay upfront for medical expenses when you present your carte vitale. The costs are directly covered by Social Security and, if applicable, by your supplementary health insurance. πŸ§˜πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ
  • Access to online services: The carte vitale allows you to access your ameli account, where you can check your reimbursements, update your personal information, download certificates, etc. πŸ’»

HOW TO OBTAIN IT?πŸ€”

If you are insured under the French social security system, you will receive your carte vitale by mail from the age of 16. If you are an International or Erasmus student and have already applied to the student Social Security, you will also receive a carte vitale. If you haven’t received it yet, you can contact your health insurance fund to request it. πŸ“¨

HOW DOES IT WORK? πŸ€”

When you visit a healthcare professional, you present your carte vitale, and they swipe it through an electronic terminal. The information is then sent to Social Security, which automatically processes your file and makes the necessary reimbursements. If you have supplementary health insurance, the information is also transmitted so it can complete the reimbursement. πŸ§˜πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

KEY POINTS TO REMEMBER πŸ¦ΈπŸ»πŸ†

In summary, the carte vitale is an essential health insurance card for accessing the French healthcare system. It simplifies the reimbursement of medical expenses, allows you to benefit from advance payment waivers, and provides access to convenient online services. Make sure to always have it with you when you visit a healthcare professional, as it is your key to quality healthcare in France. βœ…

Want to know more aboutΒ supplementary health insurance (mutuelle)Β ? Not sure what it is or how it works? Check out our article on the subject!

Need help ?Β Don’t hesitate, we’re here to assist you for your life in France ! 🀝🏻

Need help ? Don’t hesitate, we’re here to assist you for your life in France ! 🀝🏻

Dare&Go

The ally of international students in France.

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