French expressions and abreviations in health care


A glossary of useful terms. 

AME (Aide Médicale de l'Etat) State Health Aid for foreigners living in France without regular legal residency.

AMELI (Assurance Maladie En LIgne): the website of French healthcare system.

Carte Vitale: this is a credit-card sized card that certifies your entitlement to health insurance in France. It is replacing the paper-based refund system. This card may sometimes mean you only pay the proportion due and do not need to ask for reimbursement afterwards.

CPAM (Caisse Primaire d'Assurance Maladie): primary health insurance bodies, for most insured people this is main interface with social security system. Check online for your local CPAM as this depends on your place of residence.

Croix Rouge: The Red Cross. Unlike some countries, the French Croix Rouge is a humanitarian organization and does not provide medical services in France.

CMU (Couverture Maladie Universelle): Universal Health Insurance Coverage
for French residents.

Mutuelle (assurance complémentaire): Additional heath insurance to cover costs not refunded by the French social security scheme. Common in France as some 85% of people have it - some employers pay part of all of this cost.

RIB (Relevé d'Identité Bancaire): a small label or fiche with your bank account details. It is required to supply this if money is to be transferred to your account. It is printed on all your bank statements and you usually have some detachable copies in your cheque book. You can also usually print one at an ATM machine or ask for one in your bank.

SAMU: French Emergency Services.

La Secu: common verbal abbreviation for Social Security System.

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