French Expats: Is It Worth The Money To Choose CFE ?

French Expats CFE

Wherever French expatriates are located around the world they have the choice to join the CFE (Caisse Des Francais de l’Etranger). By doing so it means they will continue paying into the French healthcare insurance system and retain such benefits upon returning home.

However, there is a recurring question that many French expats ask: Is contribution to the CFE worthwhile?

To help answer this question let’s take a look at what the CFE is and the perceived benefits for members.


The CFE (Caisse Des Français de l’Etranger):

The CFE implements and controls such things as:

  • The level of contributions
  • The type of benefits available
  • Conditions that allow a French expat to join the plan, and when they can leave it
  • The benefits received. This is subject to change as new laws are introduced


The CFE mission:

  • To insure and protect the health of French expatriates around the world
  • Ensure a minimum level of social cover for French citizens abroad
  • Being aware and attending to difficulties the French expat community face



Significant membership

The CFE currently covers and protects over 200,000 French expatriates worldwide and includes in excess of 4,400 companies in their ranks.


CFE country availability and insurance options offered

The positive news is that French expatriates who wish to join the CFE can do so wherever they are based in the world. They also have the choice of 3 insurance options:

  • Healthcare – This includes disability coverage and maternity cover
  • Industrial accidents – Occupational diseases come under this category
  • Retirement – In accordance with their home country’s social security pension plan

Benefits of joining the CFE

French expatriates can join the CFE by deciding to continue their contributions to the French healthcare insurance scheme.

Those that do so will be covered against 1 or more risks. The cover taken will depend on such things as:

  1. Their family status
  2. Specific local conditions
  3. Their budget

Some of the main advantages that French expatriates will see through joining the CFE are:

  • No medical questionnaire
  • No exclusion
  • No maximum annual limit on cost of treatment received
  • The family of a French expat (spouse and children) can be covered by the CFE. This is regardless of their nationality


CFE co-payment terms

In terms of CFE healthcare cover, co-payment means that a percentage of the cost is covered by the CFE and the remainder by the recipient of treatment.

The amount reimbursed by the CFE is based on the average cost of French healthcare. The general rule is that the CFE cover will pay 70% of the cost involved and the individual will pay 30%.


Supplemental health care cover

French expatriates who do join the CFE are at liberty to take out an additional, supplementary health insurance policy.

This is seen as a sensible move. By taking out this cover the CFE member is ensuring that their portion of co-payment cost for any treatment will be covered by this supplemental policy.


Consider CFE and additional cover

The CFE is to be commended for its administration and advice given to French expatriates. There is also the advantage of continuing the social security system benefits upon returning to their home country.

However, the cost of healthcare will vary dependent upon which country the expat is living in.

To ensure the full costs of all healthcare treatment is met for an expat and/or their family, regardless of which country they live in, it is recommended that those who join the CFE also take out supplemental health cover to meet the remainder of any treatment costs incurred.


Contact a well-established broker

The complexities and comparisons of CFE against your requirements and the need to fully understand the benefits of supplemental health insurance cover for French expatriates is no easy task.

To this end we strongly recommended that you contact a respected expat health insurance broker who has had long, personal experience of expatriate life.

By making this sensible decision your questions will be answered, your concerns addressed and the most appropriate healthcare for your needs will be advised upon. All of this will be at no extra cost to yourself.

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