The French parliament has just voted in favour of winding up the student social security system (RESS). This puts an end to the difficulties and hesitations when choosing between two identical healthcare insurance schemes! From now on all students will automatically join the general social security scheme. This new arrangement, which replaces the “rather special” existing system, is simpler and less expensive and so should not raise any opposition.

A two-stage change process

Ever since 1948, the student mutual societies have been managing healthcare insurance under delegated authority. At the beginning of each academic year students have had to choose whether to join LMDE or the EmeVia network of regional mutuals. In two years’ time, this will be a thing of the past. Students starting their course for the first time at the beginning of the 2018 academic year will join the general social security scheme. Those who are already covered by student social security will be transferred to the general scheme on 31 August 2019.

Every student will save over 100 Euros a year

This is good news for a student’s budget. The contribution they paid for the 2017 academic year amounted to 217 Euros. In the future they will only have to pay an annual premium of 90 Euros used to promote the “social, heathcare, cultural and sporting well-being” of students. Existing exemptions do not change. Cover remains free for grant-holding students or those with refugee status or recognised as asylum seekers.

The student mutuals keep their other responsibilities

The mutuals return to being just complementary insurance carriers. They will however be associated with the “public health prevention conference” and continue some of their responsibilities for prevention campaigns aimed at students.

Now that the law has been signed, there are just a few details to be worked out such as the migration of several million student files and a few hundred staff over to the primary social security bodies.


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