If you travel to another EU or European Economic Area (Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway) member State to receive health care

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If you are a member* (or the beneficiary of a member) of a French social security scheme, you may qualify for coverage of your healthcare expenses when you go to another EU or European Economic Area (Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway) member state in order to receive medical treatment.

In order to be covered for certain types of scheduled care (particularly extensive treatment) in another EU or European Economic Area (Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway) member State, prior authorization from the French health insurance fund is required.

* salaried or self-employed worker, unemployment benefits recipient, resident, pensioner, etc.)

 

1. Scheduled treatment subject to prior authorization

Before you leave, you must apply for prior authorization of coverage for care requiring at least a one-night hospital stay or the use of highly specialized and costly medical equipment or facilities.

Treatments subject to prior authorization are as follows:

If approved, you will be issued a portable S2 certificate for coverage in the country you are visiting. If you pay all or part of your expenses upfront, you will be able to apply to your French health insurance fund for a reimbursement when you come back to France.

The portable S2 certificate

Legislative framework :

The portable S2 certificate, « Entitlement to scheduled treatment », authorizes you to travel to another EU or European Economic Area (Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway) member state to receive medical care. It means that your care will be covered as provided by local law and according to local rates. Indeed, you will receive the same care as members of the local social security system.

You will need to request this document from your French health insurance fund. Your application must specify the type of care you are planning to receive and list the medical reasons behind your request to receive care abroad, including a doctor's opinion if necessary.

You must apply for your authorization far enough in advance so that your local health insurance fund can process it before you leave.

Your authorization will not be granted automatically. Indeed, the following conditions apply:

In the member State you are visiting, you will need to show your S2 certificate either to one of the local health insurance fund or directly to your health care provider so that your care is covered locally pursuant to local law.

Requesting reimbursement when you return to France

For example, for a procedure billed 150 euros, if you were issued a 100-euro reimbursement in the foreign country and the French social security rate is 150 euros, you may receive a 50-euro supplement from your French fund.

2. Scheduled treatment not subject to prior authorization

Legislative framework :

Coverage of other scheduled care, particularly standard ambulatory care, is not subject to prior authorization from your local French health insurance fund. However, certain types of care or treatment may be subject to prior authorization from the French system:

Before you leave, ask your health professional in France if prior authorization is required. If so, it is also required if the care is provided outside France.
If you have paid for your treatment upfront in the foreign country, you can apply for reimbursement.

Requesting reimbursement when you return to France