EU citizens and those from Switzerland, Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein are covered for emergencies by the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), but not for non-emergencies or repatriation. Every family member needs a card. Seek care from state providers (conventionnés); private healthcare is not covered. Pay directly and keep receipts for reimbursement.
If you're not from Europe you need to determine whether your country has reciprocity with France for free medical care. If you need health insurance, strongly consider a policy that covers worst-case scenarios, including emergency medical evacuation. Determine in advance if your insurance pays directly for overseas expenditures or reimburses you later (it's probably the latter). Keep all documentation.
We recommend travel insurance covering theft, loss and medical problems. Some policies exclude dangerous activities, including diving, motorcycling and mountaineering. Read the fine print.
Worldwide travel insurance is available at www.lonelyplanet.com/bookings. You can buy, extend and claim online, even if you’re already on the road.
Purchasing airline tickets with a credit card may provide limited travel-accident insurance. Ask your credit-card company.