CEO of EUGEN International, this former expat in Spain has teamed up with Swiss Life to create a startup that aims to simplify health insurance for French people living abroad. Its recipe is based on a subtle dosage, including a good dose of technology combined with a ration 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 car insurance. At least we shouldn’t. This is what Vincent de Meyer, 53, defends, including 23 dedicated to the insurance business and 10 years in the international management of April International Expat – a juggernaut in the sector. His credo is based, among other things, on a clear demand for the nobility of his profession, against certain prejudices and a lot of 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“, he exhorts. We forget it when we subscribe to it, and all the more easily when we decide not to subscribe to it, but health insurance often intervenes at the height of the most disturbing episodes in a life, or stress related to medical experience -“to survive sometimes“-” is added to the financial costs of the treatments. “Our expertise lies in intervening as effectively as possible during a personal experience that can be traumatic“, sums up Vincent de Meyer.”When we work to support a client abroad in these critical moments, we know that we are acting on something that matters.“, remarks this native of Troyes.
The pandemic was a turning point in the way foreigners were able to consider their health protection
The Covid crisis has simultaneously disrupted the profession and changed the habits of policyholders, especially outside France. “The pandemic was a turning point in the way foreigners were able to consider their health protection, especially in terms of the functioning of local systems“, Vincent de Meyer evokes. Between March 2020 and September of the same year, insurance companies were able to observe how their number of customers increased exponentially. At the same time, the same insurance companies had to take on an unprecedented increase in their costs, reminds the CEO of Eugen: “It is necessary to count, according to the zones of the globe, between 3,000 and 8,000 euros per day for a stay in intensive“, he emphasizes -“at the same time insurance is for it“. Anyway, “outside of Europe, French people living abroad generally all need to find private healthcare solutions“, Vincent de Meyer believes. But if the market has fallen significantly since the summer of 2021 and the entry into the post-Covid era, a new trend has emerged to characterize the support from 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 the people who have chosen to change their surroundings and go and do their work in destinations that are a priori more attractive, even exotic.“. Therefore we may forget it, but digital nomadism is also that of business managers who continue to work for their structure, but at a distance, in Barcelona, the Canary Islands or in the tropics.”When the company gives its consent, the issue of health protection generally remains outside the scope of the employer.“, states the insurance broker.
25% of surgeries performed worldwide are either unnecessary or not recommended
In Spain and Portugal, where Eugen decided to launch his brand for a one-year life-size test, “we observe, between the public and the private, a two-speed healthcare system, especially when it comes to booking an appointment with a specialist“, analyzes Vincent de Meyer, who emphasizes the character”very variable“tariffs charged outside the network covered by 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, gives you the freedom to seek treatment in your foreign country or in France, free of charge“. And to highlight certain particularities of the French health system, with the coverage especially of dental costs or even spa treatments, which are not always reimbursed in local health systems.”In general, I encourage people to compare and request an international insurance quote“, he insists. And he doesn’t budge: “Health is something serious. In the case of serious illnesses, long treatments, it is important to be able to speak to the insurance’s medical adviser in his mother tongue with a person from the same cultural background“. And contrast with the diagnoses given 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 guide them towards other solutions. This is important because when you get into local support, it becomes very difficult to get out of this tunnel. Even so, it can sometimes be the most recommendable“. You may have doubted it, you will be reassured, no offense to the dismissal: “It is in the interest of the insurance company, which is committed until the end of its client’s life, regardless of his state of health, that the insured is well looked after.“Now, that’s enough to shake your confidence, “25% of surgeries performed worldwide are either unnecessary or inadvisable“, indignant Vincent de Meyer, who strongly recommends seeking a second opinion in cases relating to traumatology or reconstructive surgery, especially in connection with the fitting of prostheses or reconstruction after breast cancer.These are topics where you have to listen and, above all, not rush“, he continues.
Social protection for expatriates, French style
Too honest Eugen’s CEO? In light of his professional career, resolutely turned towards the international, one could doubt it. However”the broker 100% dedicated to foreign insurance“With its Vieille France name, it certainly claims some Gallic know-how.”There are two schools of thought 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 particularly characterized by the fact that the insurance contract contains the list of exceptions that are not covered. On the contrary, the Anglo-Saxon contract is an exhaustive list of all the conditions it covers. .. without mentioning the exceptions A difference in approach which, in Vincent de Meyer’s eyes, protects Bernard better than John, Jacques than Jim.French touch“which, as we have also seen, is essential when talking about your health and when it comes to discussing, in French therefore, the most sensitive aspects of your private life.”We are the opposite of an outsourced platform: our teams in direct contact with the customer are highly trained in empathy“, the manager jumps on.”Our goal is to solve all the problems of the insured from the first call to simplify his procedures.“.
Simplification of foreign insurance
“My obsession is to simplify the subject of insurance. Procedures, documents, paperwork… It’s endlessly painful, especially when you’re sickinsists Vincent de Meyer.Eugen is first and foremost a technology company“, he claims.”We have completely redesigned the customer journey and developed an app that the insured downloads and where everything related to his life in insurance will be centralized, with a real concern to simplify his life.“.”We are also specialists in international mobility, from students to entrepreneurs on business missions. We are not the only ones, but insuring outside of France is our specialty, it is what we know how to do. In Spain, we have created an international health insurance product with Swiss Life, which covers hospitalization, consultations with specialists and general practitioners, alternative medicine, etc. From the first euro, our solutions allow the insured to freely choose their doctor. , to know in the advance amount for reimbursement of medical expenses and to obtain maximum coverage inspired by the French system, with especially optical and dental coverage rarely covered by other solutions“, he develops. After Spain and Portugal in 2022, Eugen International offers coverage throughout Europe from the end of the year. And the company should leave the old continent in 2023 -“The specifications are ready, the negotiations completed“The goal is to achieve 2.5 million euros in bonuses during 2023 and to accumulate 18 million by 2027.”Our development goes through expanding our product range, developing our care network and… finding good people to get involved in the project.“, concludes Vincent de Meyer.