Social security (French: sécurité sociale) is divided by the French government into five branches: illness; old age/retirement; family; work accident; and occupational disease. From an institutional point of view, French social security is made up of diverse organismes. The system is divided into three main Regimes: the General Regime, the Farm Regime, and the Self-employed Regime. In addition there are numerous special regimes dating from prior to the creation of the state system in the mid-to-late 1940s. The main concept is that a unique and central institution will pay for all medical costs and pensions so as to provide an equal level of coverage to the whole population. All incomes (salaries, dividends...) are taxed to fund this system. The main advantage is that its negotiating power lowers very significantly the price of medicine and the system covers systematically all expenses without limit (100% coverage for any long term or critical problem such as diabetes, cancer....). The main drawback being the significant cost (albeit lower than that in the US). More information...

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