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You have to register with the local town hall in Germany, but there is no such requirement here in France. It never hurts to find an excuse to "drop by" the mairie (say, to pick up a list of the town's associations or activities) and just introduce yourself as new in town. Sometimes you will manage to be invited to a gathering for the new folks in town (never refuse a drink from/at the mairie!) and it always helps to have a friend at the mairie in case you run into problems down the line.

With the health care system, your employer will need to have your sécu (social security) number in order to properly make the necessary payments for the social insurances. If your employer has not yet put in for a sécu number for you, you should probably start the process off yourself. Once you have the sécu number, you can approach the CPAM to register for a Carte Vitale, which you'll need when you go see a doctor or get other medical care.

The French health care system is a reimbursement based system, so in any event, you pay (at least at most doctors and practitioners) and you are reimbursed after the fact. Many labs, pharmacies and other providers will ask you up front for your Carte Vitale and the card you get from your mutuelle (top up insurance that pays what the national system doesn't) so you don't have to advance the funds.

First step, however, is probably to ask your employer whether they have applied for the sécu number for you, and if not, ask them to help you get that process started. Your employer usually offers a mutuelle (for which they pay part of the cost) and may actually already be taking the payments for it out of your pay.
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