Moneyadviceblog » Insurance » How Does Social Coverage Work in France?

Social security coverage allows the insured person and his/her dependents to be protected against social risks. These risks generally take the form of events that can significantly impact a person’s financial situation: a decrease in resources or an increase in expenses. We invite you to read on to learn more.

Social Security Plans

A general scheme takes care of salaried workers, self-employed workers, and people who benefit from residence rights. The agricultural scheme also takes care of farmers and agricultural employees. Finally, there are the special schemes for seamen, employees of the SNCF, RATP, the National Assembly, the Senate, clerks, etc.

The Main Actors of Social Security Coverage

In general, social security is provided by institutions. The State also plays its role in ensuring certain expenses such as school grants or unemployment benefits. Local authorities, such as municipalities, are responsible for the costs of pensioners with insufficient resources. Private administrations, such as charitable organizations, are mainly concerned with the poorest.

Moreover, the financing of these expenses comes mainly from compulsory deductions through taxes and employer or employee social contributions. In addition, donations from individuals and subsidies from the State, local authorities, or various international organizations, such as the European Union, help finance private administrations.

Among other things, social security coverage is composed of several branches run by different entities for the general scheme:

  • the Caisse Nationale d’Allocations Familiales for the family branch ;
  • the Caisse Nationale d’Assurance Vieillesse for the old age branch
  • the Caisse Nationale de l’Assurance Maladie, composed of the Caisse Primaire d’Assurance Maladie (CPAM), the Caisse Générale de Sécurité Sociale (CGSS), the Direction Régionale du Service Médical (DRSM), and the Caisse d’Assurance Retraite et de la Santé au Travail (Carsat) for the health insurance branch;
  • the Caisse Nationale d’Assurance Maladie and the Caisse d’Assurance Retraite et de la Santé au Travail (Carsat) for the work accident branch;
  • the Agence Centrale des Organismes de Sécurité Sociale (Central Agency for Social Security Organizations) for the collection branch.
  • As for the agricultural regime, the Mutuelle Sociale Agricole (MSA) is in charge of the management of each of these branches.

    The Roles of the Social Security Branches

    The Family Branch

    Its role is to reduce social inequalities between families according to the number of children. It focuses on the support of families for daily compensation, the reception of newborns, access to housing, and the fight against disability. As its name indicates, it includes family allowances.

    The Retirement or Old Age Branch

    This branch deals with the payment of pensions to retirees. It accompanies employees from the moment they enter the professional world until their retirement.

    The Health Branch

    The health insurance branch covers the expenses related to the health and care of the insured and contributes to the regulation of the health system in France. It covers the risks of illness, disability, death and maternity. For even more security, it is recommended to subscribe to a mutual health insurance.

    The Work Accident Branch

    This branch also manages occupational risks such as work-related accidents and diseases. It takes care of the compensation of victims and determines the participation of companies in the financing of the system.

    The Collection Branch

    Its role is to collect social security contributions and distribute them to the above branches.