The French health system is a universal care system of which many countries, including the United States envy and idolize. France runs under a system known as the National Health Insurance Program (NHI). The NHI was established in 1945 and has since seen many revisions and modifications. In the original system, care was only offered to salaried workers and those whose wages were considered too little. In 1945, the NHI was offered to all commercial and industrial workers, regardless of their wage. In 1961, agricultural workers were added to the coverage, and in 1966, independent professionals and entrepreneurs were added. Today, healthcare is now offered universally to any legal French resident under a universal coverage plan called la couverture maladie universelle (universal health coverage). .
There are various units of the system that take care of the costs of care. Social Security in France is divided into four branches: pensions, family benefits, health insurance, and workman's compensation. There are National Health Insurance funds, which are legally private establishments responsible for the delivery of public service. These funds pay for 75.5% of the overall costs of care, leaving the other portion divided among supplementary private insurance (12.4%), and out-of-pocket expenditures (11.1%). .
The financing of the National Health Insurance system in France is made up of a complex system containing many payers. French citizens pay roughly $4000 each year to receive healthcare services, which constitutes 11.8% of its GDP. French residents only pay $290 a year, which makes up 7.3% of the total health care expenses. The French Insurance companies and government foot the entire bill, covering all costs of services and care. This, in turn drives down out-of-pocket costs. The French NHI has many different dynamics concerning insurance, which is the foundation of the system itself.