Carte Vitale – what to do before and after obtaining it

Carte Vitale is an automated social security card that all France’s residents must possess and show it to doctors or pharmacist whenever they need consultations or have prescriptions. This card is extremely helpful to everyone working in the medical system, especially doctors, because they can learn everything they need about the patient – Social Security number, medical insurance information and next of kin – from only one place. Those who have recently relocated in France should learn more on what they have to do before and after obtaining it.

Before – learn who can get it

Carte Vitale Seine Saint Denis is available to all citizens ages sixteen and older who are legally residing in France, whether they were born here or have recently relocated. The main condition to obtain this green card is to be eligible for obtaining a French Social Security number.

Before – become familiar with the process of obtaining it

In order to obtain the Carte Vitale, you have to be legally residing in France, whether you are coming for a country that is an EU member or not. You must be either registered in the country’s school system or have come to France due to your job in order to be able to receive the Social Security number and the accompanying green card. Generally, the school or the employer is supposed to help you throughout the entire process. Nevertheless, in case this does not happen, you will have to take the matter into your hands and go through the process all by yourself. You will have to check the schedule for the closest CPAM (Caisse Primaire d’Assurance Maladie) to your location and pay them a visit. Once you explain them the situation you are into, you will immediately receive professional guidance. You will receive all the information you need to apply for your Carte Vitale, including what documents to bring with you, how to fill them in and where to apply them.

After – learn how it works

It is mandatory that you present your Carte Vitale to your doctor or pharmacist whenever it is necessary in order to benefit from 60-70% health insurance coverage. Keep in mind that even though you have this green card, you will still have to pay for doctor consultations and prescriptions. However, the Carte Vitale will help you get your money reimbursed later on. In most cases, it takes nearly 72 hours for reimbursement to be performed, but this period may vary.

After – update your Carte Vitale

Now that you have your Carte Vitale in your possession, it is your duty to care for it and not to misplace it. What you need to know is that this green card doesn’t come with an expiration date, but every now and then, it must be updated. When you get married or when you change your status from student to employee for example, you must update your green card and this process doesn’t take too much time, as it can be done via online, on the official website of French health insurance system.