CEO of EUGEN International, this former expat in Spain has joined forces with Swiss Life to create a startup that aims to simplify health insurance for French people living abroad. His recipe is based on a subtle dosage, including a good dose of technology combined with a portion of French touch, but also a long experience in the sector and a lot of empathy.
You don’t choose your health insurance like you choose your auto insurance. We shouldn’t, however. Vincent de Meyer, 53, defends it, of which 23 dedicated to the insurance professions and 10 years in the international management of April International Expat, a giant in the sector. His creed is based, among other things, on a clear claim to the nobility of his profession, against certain prejudices and many received ideas, but also on a certain desire to improve the social protection of his fellow men. “There is something very rewarding about being able to help people get better health care“, evokes. We forget about it when we subscribe, and all the more readily when we decide not to subscribe, but health insurance often intervenes at the height of the most distressing episodes of a life, or stress related to doctor visits Experience -“to survival, sometimes“-” is added that of the financial cost of the treatments. “Our expertise is to intervene as effectively as possible during a personal experience that can be traumatic“, sums up Vincent de Meyer. “When we work to support a client, overseas, at these critical times, we know we are acting on something that matters.“, observes this native of Troyes.
The pandemic has been a turning point in how expats have come to think about protecting their health
The Covid crisis has simultaneously disrupted the profession and changed the habits of policyholders, especially outside France. “The pandemic has represented a turning point in how expats have been able to consider the protection of their health, especially with regards to the functioning of local systems“, evokes Vincent de Meyer. Between March 2020 and September of the same year, insurers were able to observe how their number of customers increased exponentially. At the same time, these same insurers had to assume an unprecedented increase in their costs , recalls the CEO of Eugen: “It is necessary to count, depending on the areas of the globe, between 3,000 and 8,000 euros per day for a stay in intensive care“, points out -“at the same time, the insurance is for it“. Anyway, “outside Europe, French people living abroad generally all need to find private healthcare solutions“, believes Vincent de Meyer. However, if since the summer of 2021 and the entry into the post-Covid era, the market has contracted significantly, a new trend has come to characterize the support of policyholders internationally” .One of the consequences of the pandemic is that many people have changed their life priorities. One of the phenomena that interests us concerns those people who have chosen to change their environment and go to do their job in a priori more attractive destinations, even exotic ones.“. So, maybe we forget it, but digital nomadism is also that of corporate executives who continue to work for their facility, but remotely, in Barcelona, the Canaries or the tropics.”When the company gives its consent, the issue of health protection generally remains outside the scope of the employer.“, observes the insurance broker.
25% of surgeries performed worldwide are unnecessary or not recommended
In Spain and Portugal, where Eugen decided to launch his brand for a year of full-size testing, “we observe, between public and private, a two-speed healthcare system, especially when it comes to making an appointment with a specialist“, analyzes Vincent de Meyer, who underlines its character”highly variable“tariffs practiced outside the network covered by the local social security”.Above all, it seems to me essential, when you leave France for a few years, to think about taking out international health insurance which, among other things, allows you to have the freedom to get treatment in your country of expatriation or in France ., free of chargeAnd to highlight some particularities of the French health system, with the coverage in particular of dental expenses or even spa treatments, which are not always reimbursed in the local health systems”.In general, I encourage people to compare and request an international insurance quote“, he insists. And he doesn’t move: “Health is serious business. In the event of serious illness, long-term care, it is essential to be able to speak to the insurance medical adviser, in his native language, with a person who has the same cultural backgroundAnd they contrast the diagnoses made by the local health system: “Our doctors are used to the situations that our policyholders have to experience, they are there to inform them, advise them and possibly direct them towards other solutions. This is important, because when you enter local support, it becomes very difficult to get out of this tunnel. However, sometimes it can be the most recommendable“. You may have doubted it, you will be reassured, no offense to dismissal: “It is in the interest of the insurer, who is committed until the end of his client’s life, whatever his state of health, that the insured be well looked after.“Now, that’s enough to shake your confidence, “25% of surgeries performed worldwide are unnecessary or inadvisable“, outraged Vincent de Meyer, who strongly recommends seeking a second opinion in cases relating to traumatology or reconstructive surgery, especially relating to the application of prostheses or reconstruction following breast cancer. “These are topics in which one must listen, and above all not be in a hurry“, he continues.
Social protection for expatriates, French style
Is Eugen’s CEO too frank? Considering his professional career, decidedly international, one might doubt it. Nevertheless “the broker 100% dedicated to expatriate insurance“It certainly claims, with its name Vieille France, a certain Gallic know-how.”There are two schools in the insurance world“, explains Vincent de Meyer, “the Franco-Germanic school and the Anglo-Saxon school“. There is no doubt that Eugen belongs to the first, which is characterized in particular by the inclusion, in the insurance contract, of the list of exceptions that are not covered. On the contrary, the Anglo-Saxon contract an exhaustive list of all conditions it covers… without naming the exceptions. A difference of approach which, in the eyes of Vincent de Meyer, protects Bernard better than John, Jacques than Jim.french touch“which, as we have also seen, is essential when talking about one’s health and when it comes to discussing, in French therefore, the most sensitive aspects of one’s privacy.”We are the opposite of an outsourced platform: our customer-facing teams are highly trained in empathy“, the leader rebounds further. “Our goal is to solve all the insured’s problems from the very first call, in order to simplify his procedures.“.
Simplifying expat insurance
“My obsession is to simplify the subject of insurance. Procedures, documents, paperwork… It’s endlessly painful, especially when you’re sickVincent de Meyer insists.Eugen is first and foremost a technology company“, he claims. “We have completely redesigned the customer journey and developed an app that the policyholder downloads and where everything related to his insurance life will be centralized, with a real concern to make his life easier.“.”We are also specialists in international mobility, from students to entrepreneurs on a business mission. We’re not the only ones, but insuring outside France is our specialty, it’s what we know how to do. In Spain, we have created an international health insurance product with Swiss Life that covers hospitalization, consultations with specialists and general practitioners, alternative medicine, etc. From the first euro, our solutions allow the policyholder to freely choose their doctor. advance the amount of reimbursement of medical expenses, and have maximum coverage inspired by the French system, with in particular optical and dental coverage rarely covered in other solutions“, develops. After Spain and Portugal in 2022, Eugen International offers coverage throughout Europe from the end of the year. And the company is expected to leave the Old Continent in 2023 -“the specifications are ready, the negotiations done“The goal is to reach 2.5 million euros in bonuses in 2023 and accumulate 18 million by 2027”.Our development goes through the expansion of our product range, the development of our service network and… the search for fantastic people to involve in the project.“ concludes Vincent de Meyer.