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The Université de Lyon's healthcare awareness campaign

A number of surveys about student living conditions and health have shown that they experience difficulties in accessing healthcare and tend to not use it. Their lack of knowledge of the health system, the Assurance Maladie and of the availability of healthcare appears to be a key factor in this trend.

The French health system remains fairly complex, despite recent efforts to streamline it. Specifically, it involves technical concepts that may seem abstract: the “parcours de soins” (care pathway), the relationship between “complémentaire”, “mutuelle” and “assurance maladie”, or the need to update one’s Carte Vitale... And yet, a number of highly effective information and assistance systems are available in this area, including some that are targeted to students, such as mutual insurance communication campaigns.

To address these issues, the Université de Lyon, in collaboration with the Région Auvergne Rhône-Alpes, the Assurance Maladie and the Crous, is launching a widespread campaign targeting students, to increase their knowledge of the health system and remind them that getting care is important, even as a young person.

Visit the Université de Lyon's health portal


This campaign addresses the goals of the Lyon – Saint-Étienne site’s Student Life Blueprint to improve students’ access to care by improving their understanding of the basic concepts behind the health system. This is paired with the additional goal of helping students to identify care options that are suited to their needs or places that can inform them and help them find specific solutions near their home or school.

This campaign’s strategy is, therefore, to draw attention to this issue, starting with the difficulties students experience, and to provide year-round basic information and orientation on campuses in order to improve access to care solutions when needed.

A closer look at 3 concepts related to the health system

Ticket modérateur (co-payment)

This is the portion of health costs that you must cover after the Assurance Maladie (see “Assurance Maladie” section) has reimbursed the part obligatoire (see “Part obligatoire + part complémentaire + participation forfaitaire” section). To help you pay the co-payment, you can register for a supplementary health insurance plan or a health mutual. Depending on your income, you may be eligible for a free supplementary health insurance plan (see “ACS” and “CMU-C” sections).

Tiers payant

A “Tiers payant”, or a third-party payer, is a system by which you do not have to pay upfront for the mandatory portion of health costs, which is covered by the Assurance Maladie. Not all practitioners use this third-party payer system yet, but it will soon become mandatory.

The Carte Vitale

The Carte Vitale is a chip card with your social security number proving you are registered with the Assurance Maladie. It must always be shown to all health professionals in order to receive timely reimbursement.  

NB: All documents available to download on this page are the property of the Université de Lyon. If you have any queries, please contact the Université de Lyon's communications department: