The French social protection system consists mainly of a set of compulsory schemes:
As soon as an employer takes on an employee in France, he is obliged to make a declaration prior to hiring the person to the Union de recouvrement des cotisations de sécurité sociale et d'allocations familiales (social security contribution collection body) (URSSAF) to which he belongs. This declaration in particular enables registration for social security, if the employee is not already registered, and inclusion in an unemployment insurance scheme.
Furthermore, people who do not belong to any compulsory scheme, either as insured parties or as entitled claimants, are compulsorily covered by Couverture maladie universelle (universal sickness cover) (CMU).
As only part of health expenses are reimbursed, many French people have additional insurance cover. Three types of additional protection bodies coexist for all the risks covered by the legal schemes: the mutual societies, the private insurance companies and the provident funds. Additional protection may come from the individual but most frequently it is suggested to the insured parties collectively in the context of their professional work.
Text last edited on: 03/2010
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