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Changing a top-up health insurance company.


JohnRoss

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When we arrived in France in 2001 we took out a top-up policy with Swiss Life through an insurance broker in Bordeaux. We have been quite happy with Swiss Life but the premium for the two of us is currently 153 euros each month. The other day I completed an on-line form to get quotes from other Insurance companies one of which was from Swiss Life for similar cover but at a slightly lower cost. This query was passed by Swiss Life to the same insurance broker who sent an agent to see us today and is offering a new policy with AXA for the same cover or slightly better for 131 euros each month. For a small reduction in cover for teeth, i.e. from 200% to 150% and the same for glasses plus a reduction in supplement for glasses from 145 to 114 euros we can get the premium with AXA down to 114 euros a month. The agent thought that premiums might rise at about 4% a year, I don't know if this would be the same for all companies.

My questions are these. Has anyone else changed insurance companies? Are there any pitfalls in this? Has anyone an opinion about AXA? What questions should we ask, I have already asked about pre-existing conditions and the response would seem to be that this is not a problem though I might seek confirmation of that as I have already had major surgery in France and statistically might need more in the future though I hope not! I was told recently that some companies require you to be with them for some months before pre-existing conditions are covered and that some increase the premium significantly at the age of 65 though I don't know if this is true. We have to decide within the next few days in order to give the current company the required two months notice.............................................JR

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[quote user="JohnRoss"]

Has anyone else changed insurance companies? Are there any pitfalls in this? [/quote]

Yes - my OH has, from AGF to Groupama for health cover and No - (fingers crossed) not so far.

[quote user="JohnRoss"]

Has anyone an opinion about AXA?

[/quote]

If you input 'axa assurance' into the search box ( top RHS of window) you might find quite a few interesting and informative posts.

Sue

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Thanks for the information Sue. The comments about AXA are a bit disturbing though I suspect you would find similar remarks about any insurance company. I have put the following questions to the insurance broker by email and would like to hear if anyone can suggest any other questions that I should put before making a decision about this.....................................JR

1/ Does the new policy require a three month delay or other time period before all or any claims can be made or refunded. I note that some policies from AXA have a délai de carence de 3 mois?

 

2/ Are pre-existing conditions excluded from cover and if not does the délai de carence de 3 mois or other time period apply for claims linked to pre-existing conditions?

 

3/ By the time a new policy comes into force I will be 65 years old and my wife 61. Do you anticipate a significant rise in premium linked to our ages at any point in either our existing policy with Swiss Life or with the proposed new policy? I assume that an annual rise of about 4% may be anticipated in any case, can you confirm this?

 

4/ The proposal form makes reference to a fee of 15 euros in addition to the first premium payable to AFPS. Would this apply in our case and who are AFPS? Are there any other charges either one off or annually not mentioned so far?

 

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We took out a middle range complimentaire direct with Groupama back in 2005.  They were rated as one of the best mutuelles in the French equivalent of Which?.

No delay, immediate full cover, no restriction on pre-existing conditions - they even gave me a 10% discount because of my ALD.

Other than the occasional small annual rise, no hike in premiums because of age (we both reached 60 last year).

There may well have been an opening fee, but at 15€, it would have been too insignificant to be memorable.

 

 

 

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Thanks folks looks like a trip to our Groupama office then. We do have our house and car insured with them already so it would be an all the eggs in one basket situation if we switched to their policy fo health top-up but then we might get another discount! Still will see what they can offer though their on-line quote came out as more expensive than we pay now to Swiss Life. It has to be said that comparing like with like is not as easy as it sounds due to the way these policies are worded..............................JR

PS Would still be interested to hear from anyone with top-up health cover from AXA 

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We're with AXA and have been for just over a year.

Charming lady in the local agents office, prompt automated reimbursements and no other problems except one.

On the 1st December last our premiums were increased by 7% so I would take with a pinch of salt when your agent is talking about 4%.

Needless to say we'll be changing to another provider before the next renewal.

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Hi,

I changed ALL my insurances to be under 'one umbrella' just before Xmas last year. I am over 300€ better off per annum for doing so. English speaking, no fuss and available to visit you if you can't get to them. Well pleased so far. By the way I went to AGF, initially because their car insurance was cheaper. Then while I was there I asked about home and health and realised I could save a lot more...... and did[:D]

tuppence

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Interesting and thanks for the info. One of the problems I am having when comparing insurance policies is the way they express the cover given. For example just to quote two of many possible comparisons: Optical (glasses, frames, contact lenses) 150% versus Frames 65 euros, Lenses progressive 70 euros. So what does 150% represent in terms of cash?  Dental treatment and orthodentistry , one just says 150% the other says 200% and then lists under protheses different amounts of money for crowns,  bridges and false teeth. How do you compare like for like? Is there a list somewhere of what the amount of refund relating to a percentage is? I find this all very confusing!.................................JR
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In short No.  What you need to do is get a rate of cover that suits you, if you have false teeth and glasses it might be better getting a higher ceiling of cover for those.  The % apply to the amount of the fees covered, some specialist charge 200% or more and so 100% cover would lead you to a bill for the rest.  Best to trawl round the Mutuellists and see what they are offering in terms of cover v cost , its not a decision others can really make for you without knowing what you need to cover.
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In France, reimbursements are based on a standard cost for each treatment - the tariff de convention (TdC).  That means the state will cover a certain percentage of the TdC whilst the rest is down to you - or your mutuelle.  Where your mutuelle states 100%, that means they'll cover your 'share' up to 100% of the TdC.  A typical example would be a box of pills on prescription which is costed at a TdC of 10€.  The state will pay 7€ and your 100% mutuelle will pay the remaining 3€. No cost to you.

However, where spectacles and certain 'cosmetic' dentistry procedures are concerned, the tariffs de convention are generally quite low, so if your teeth or specs end up costing 100% more than the TdC, then you would need 200% cover on your mutuelle to meet the entire cost, and so on.

[url=http://translate.google.com/translate?sourceid=navclient&hl=en-GB&u=http%3a%2f%2fwww%2eameli%2efr%2fassures%2fsoins%2det%2dremboursements%2fcombien%2dserez%2dvous%2drembourse%2foptique%2det%2daudition%2flunettes%2det%2dlentilles%2dquel%2dremboursement%2fle%2dremboursement%2ddes%2dplus%2dde%2d18%2dans%5fdeux%2dsevres%2ephp]Spectacle tariffs and reimbursements[/url] are quoted by the assurance maladie, for example:

Frames:  65% reimbursement against a TdC of 2,84€.  The state pays 1,85€ towards your frames.

Lenses (plain glass -6.0 to +6.0):  65% reimbursement against a TdC of 2,29€.  The state pays 1,48€ towards your lenses.

Now figure out the cost of a pair of specs in the opticians then work out what percentage of cover your mutuelle would need to provide for there to be no cost to you.....

On this basis, some people prefer not pay for extra % cover and just elect to pay for their specs as and when required.

 

 

 

 

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Thanks again and on the figures quoted, if I have understood aright, the example I gave : Optical (glasses, frames, contact lenses) 150% versus Frames 65 euros, Lenses progressive 70 euros, the second option would seem to be a much better one. Have I got this right.........................................JR 
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