caisse des Français de l'etranger

The Caisse des Français de l’Etranger (CFE)

You or your spouse are French, living abroad and you wish to be insured. The CFE is a viable and obvious option. CFE could be, with a complementary, an excellent value for money. But what is the CFE, the caisse des Français de l’étranger? What is it ? For what advantages? Is it only for French peoples?

For the French version here

The Caisse des Français de l’Etranger (CFE), what are we talking about?

The Caisse des Français de l’Etranger is a continuity of the French social security.

Thus, the CFE allows French people and their families living abroad to have continuity of their social coverage.

Who can join the CFE?

Membership is open to all French people living abroad and their families, French or not. Let take the example of Franco-Chinese couple. It is possible for them to join CFE together, as well as their children.

So, it’s a real advantage for all mixed families around the world. Allowing a certain person to access coverage through their spouse.

Note that the CFE is also open to all expatriates, as well as EU, EEA, and Swiss nationals.

The CFE, coverage for all

The CFE, the caisse des Français de l’étrangers, has the particularity to provide insurance for everyone, without distinction. Whatever:

  • The family and professional situation during the expatriation.
  • The country of residence.
  • Age.
  • Health status.

Membership is without a prior medical questionnaire. That is, the medical history and chronic illnesses have no influence on the premium, or on the guarantees.


Only 2 conditions must be fulfilled:

  • Be French nationality / or nationals of the EU, the EEA and Switzerland (or your spouse)
  • Not benefit from the French social security system.

How subscribe to CFE?

Registering with CFE is very easy. All you must do is go to the CFE website. Then you must fill out some information to create a simulation.

Be careful, however, of the CFE waiting periods. Indeed, this period without coverage is mandatory.

  • – 30 years: no waiting periods
  • From 30 to 45 years old: 3 months
  • + 45 years: 6 months (This period is reduced to 3 months during the COVID-19 pandemic)

It is recommended to join the CFE as soon as possible in order not to pass these delays.

Furthermore, CFE does not exempt you from contributing to social schemes of your country of residence.

Isn’t CFE just health insurance?

In fact, the CFE, does not only offer health insurance. It also offers 3 types of options:

  • Retirement
  • Work accidents and occupational diseases
  • Illness, maternity, and disability

These options are not connected. It is possible to subscribe to only one or two options.

Let us see together what these three options are:

Retirement insurance

This insurance allows you to continue to contribute normally as if you are in France. The CFE is the only insurer on the market that gives to expatriates the opportunity to contribute. Could be interesting for all the French peoples.

This offer is made for:

  • You are (or will be) a French employee abroad.
  • During this period, you do not want to lose any annuity in the calculation of your retirement pension.
  • You are inactive, responsible for your family and you were affiliated to a compulsory French social security scheme for at least six months before your expatriation and have not resumed activity abroad.

The quarterly contributions to the caisse des Français de l’étranger depend on the insured’s annual resources:

  • For resources below € 20,568, the price will be € 304 / month.
  • For resources between € 20,568 up to € 41,135, the price will be € 456 / year.
  • Resources greater than € 41,135, the price will be € 608 / year.
  • If you are under 22 years old, the membership fee will be 152 €

Work accidents-occupational diseases

Again, this insurance is identical to French social security. It allows members to receive reimbursement in case of an accident or illness occurring during work.

In operation, it also allows you to receive an annuity in the event of death or incapacity for work. This insurance also works for work stoppages.

For this reason you must think about it for your maternity leave.

Annuities are calculated based on your income. Between € 54 to € 426 per quarter.

Sickness-maternity-invalidity insurance

As indicated above, the CFE offers the same reimbursements as the social security. Thus, CFE refund a general practitioner appointment same in France and abroad. These are packages that include consultations, analyzes, hospitalization, maternity, vaccines, etc.

For the rest, such as hospitalization, reimbursements are based on the standard of living in your country of expatriation. To have access to this scale, on the CFE website

The CFE offers 4 types of health insurance:

  • MondExpat: This insurance allows you to cover you and your family all over the world. Please note that care is possible, only for stays of less than 6 months. This offer is available for people over 30 years old.
  • JeunExpat: Same as MondExpat but for those under 30 years old. But the only difference is the fixed price which does not depend on age.
  • RetraitExpat: insurance covering retirees of the French system and their dependents.
  • FrancExpat: It only covers your costs incurred in France. Very interesting if you have local insurance in your country of residence. Note that as an expatriate, you no longer have access to social security, so FrancExpat is a good option, if you wish to receive your treatment in France.

Covid19ExpatSante: an offer put in place to help expatriates exposed to COVID-19. Covers exclusively the health costs (according to the table of guarantees) incurred abroad, related to the COVID-19 virus, for expatriates and their dependents.

How does the CFE work in practice?

  1. Contributions

Thus, there are only 3 criteria could influence the price of your coverage:

  • Your age
  • Your family situation (solo or family)
  • The offer chooses.

Monthly contributions to MondExpat Santé thus range from € 71 to € 200 for a single person. And from € 145 to € 357 for a family.

The JeunExpat health insurance costs € 30 per month for solo and € 90 for a family. And € 119 for RetraitExpat Santé alone, and € 216 for the family offer.

Finally, FrancExpat from € 20 to € 130 euros solo, and from € 60 to € 234 with family.

  1. Refunds

Reimbursements are calculated according to Social Security scales. Thus, for consultations with a specialist, for example, will be 70% of the base rate of 30 euros.

Certain services are reimbursed according to the real cost of country of residence.

There are 5 geographic zones applying different percentages: for example, hospitalization in India (zone 1) will be covered at 67% of the actual costs, against 19% in the United States (zone 5).

  1. In practice

The reimbursement of the CFE alone is  insufficient. Indeed, in France the health cost is very low if we compare with some countries like Hong Kong or Singapore.

  • In the event of hospitalization, members will have to advance the costs. So be careful in some countries, the costs can be significant.
  • Likewise, if the refund is not 100%
  1. Complementary

Finally it is important to be aware that the CFE does not offer a full refund. So, to remedy this problem, some insurers have set up complementary to CFE. These complementary have the role of a mutual. It refund the difference between consultation price and the CFE reimbursement.

There are many insurance organizations that work with CFE. Giving you access to more comprehensive coverage and better reimbursement.

Be careful, however, some insurers have direct links with the CFE, giving you simplicity and faster refunds. It also allows you to have only one interlocutor.

For the price, CFE and a complementary is an excellent value for money, compared to local insurance.

Why choose a top-of-the-range supplement here

To help you in your choice, and to compare the offers, it is essential to contact a professional. Comparing prices and coverage is a good exercise. To find the best insurance at the best price. At Expatmedicare our expertise in CFE complementary can help you find the right insurance. You can contact us here

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