Normally, as a student in France, even as a foreigner, you must sign up for the student health insurance when you enroll higher studies. It’s super cheap (think less than $300 for the entire year) and covers 70% of your medical costs if you stick with just the basic plan. However, if you’re over 28 years old (because who would still be a student at 28?!), you don’t qualify for this insurance though there are some exceptions. I do not fit these exceptions.
However, I was very happy to learn, that I would have to simply sign up for the CMU at the CPAM, which is actually free and still covers 70% of medical costs! Without going into details, it’s basically for those who don’t qualify for health insurance through their jobs, spouses, etc (think unemployed or old students).
When I walked into CPAM to pick up the dossier to get signed up (though I knew I’d need my enrollment for the actual sign up, I thought I’d get ahead of the game), they asked if I was living alone. When I stated that I was living with my boyfriend, they said that as his “concubine” (yes, concubine), I had to be added to his insurance as an “ayant droit” even though we’re not married or PACSed. Adding me on does not cost either of us anything.
Yes, simply living with my boyfriend qualifies me for health insurance at no cost. Being American, that sort of shocked me. Of course, this process turns out to be more complicated. Not the adding on part, but the fact that I have to get a new carte vitale (health insurance card) with his social security number on it instead of my own. Seeing as these cards are made of pure gold or some other rare substance, they take FOREVER to get, so that means I’ll be filling out reimbursement forms until then. Still, a small price to pay for free health insurance.
We’re stilling waiting for the proof that our request has been approved, and I am added on, so that I know I can go to the doctor and get reimbursed for it. We’ll see how long that takes…