The experiment will begin this fall with a view to the digital version of the Vitale card, which will be rolled out in France in 2023.
This follows the digitization of many services in France in recent years, including tax returns, fine payments, unemployment status declarations and benefit claims.
Known as the health insurance e-card, the system runs on a smartphone app called appCV.
Where is the Vitale digital card tested?
The Vitale digital card has been tested so far in the Rhône and the Alpes-Maritimes.
From October 1, 2021 to December 31, 2022, it will also be available in these 10 additional departments:
- Loire Atlantique
- Puy de Dome
How can I set up a digital Vitale card?
The Vitale digital card is available as a mobile application.
People in participating departments receive a letter from their national health insurance organization Cpam asking if they would like to participate in the trial. They can then download the app to their smartphone via Google Play or the Apple Store.
To complete the installation, participants must submit photos of their physical Vitale card and proof of identity (such as a passport) in the app.
They will also need to provide a photo ID (you can take one yourself on your phone) and create a four-digit passcode, in order to open the app for future use.
Where can I use the Vitale digital card?
When the app is installed and the participant has provided all the necessary credentials, they can use the Vitale digital card with participating healthcare professionals such as general practitioners, dentists and pharmacists.
However, they will still need a physical card, as not all professionals will have volunteered for the trial.
To use the Vitale digital card, the user must open the application using the four-digit secret code, press the “Flow” button, then place their smartphone on the digital reader provided by the healthcare professional.
Once connected, the application will allow access to all the relevant information on the reimbursements for the care of the person and will work in the same way as a physical card, to allow the transfer of information to the Cpam for the reimbursement of the patient. medical fees.
Participants can also authorize another user to access their digital card for 30 days.
For example, a parent with a child registered on his Vitale card could allow the access of another accompanying person so that the accompanying person can take the child to a medical appointment.
Who will be able to access the data via the Vitale digital card?
As for the data collected via the physical system of the Vitale card, the application data will be stored by the National Health Insurance Fund (Cnam).
This includes photos and ID documents used to configure the app.
The Cnam (national supervisory body for Cpams), holds this data in a secure manner, as it does with physical cards, to help fight against Vitale card fraud.
Fraudulent use would be more common with older physical cards which do not have passport photos (and are still valid until the cardholder requests to replace them due to loss or theft, etc.).
What is a Vitale card?
A Vitale card allows its holder, aged 16 or over, to obtain reimbursements from the national health insurance (that is to say the payment of medical costs). It is a card the size of a credit card with an electronic chip that contains user information and entitlement data.
This allows the holder to recover a certain percentage of healthcare costs, such as a visit to a general practitioner. Private supplementary health insurance can be purchased to cover any unpaid amount, but it is optional.
Unlike the UK, for example, a visit to the GP in France may charge € 25 in advance, but by presenting your Vitale card at that time, it will then be refunded to your bank account several days later. For holders, it replaces the old paper system care sheets, that the patient had to complete and send to his Cpam.
You can apply for a Vitale card if you are a resident and affiliated with French social security (for example, some early retirees opt instead for private insurance).
How do I get one?
Before you can obtain a Vitale card for your reimbursements, you must be affiliated with French social security.
This will vary depending on your situation. For example, if you are a British or European pensioner in France, you will need to present the local Cpam with an S1 form from your home country. Anyone working in France, salaried or self-employed, will be affiliated as part of the registration process for the payment of social charges on earned income.
Pre-retirees can subscribe to private insurance or apply to join the French scheme for reasons of residence. Depending on their income, an annual contribution may be required for them.
Contact your local Cpam for more information on what is required if in doubt.
If you are in the system, with a French social security number, you can create an account on ameli.fr and you can request a card through your account in the My steps heading, under My Vitale card and Order my Vitale card.
The main documents required are a photo and ID, both in digital format.
Alternatively, it is possible to request a card on paper from your Cpam.
You can follow the status of your application on ameli.fr.
Once you have received your Carte Vitale, you should also choose a local general practitioner to be your attending physician (personal family doctor) to ensure that you get the correct reimbursements.
What data does a Vitale card have?
No medical information is stored on the card, but it does contain your address and social security number.
How often should I update my Vitale card and why?
It is advisable to update your card once a year, which can be done at pharmacies or at Cpam offices. It is expected that this will not be necessary for the new digital version of the map.
You should also update it if there is a significant change in your information, such as marital status or address.
Other situations where an update is required include pregnancy, change of job if it involves a change in health care plan, or initial coverage for a long-term condition (ALD).
The physical card does not expire.
It is good practice to keep track of your card information through ameli.com and to check back about once a year to make sure all of your information is correct.
If you lose your Carte Vitale, if it is stolen, or no longer works, you can also declare it online at ameli.fr, and request its replacement.
How to get a French health pass: A guide for residents and visitors