We speak to Anita Le Sech, the French Riviera representative of SOFICAS - a company that specialises in health insurance top-up and caters to English-Speakers living in France. Anita walks us through the importance of top-up coverage, what you may not have known about your insurance coverage, and how she can secure your position in the French health system.
SOFICAS recognised a gap in the French market for English-speakers and that "les anglophones" were often left frustrated or intimidated with the French healthcare system. They specialise in addressing this specific market with English-speaking consultants and hotline for inquiries, as well as documents fully translated into English. They are members of the ASAF (Association Santé et Action Familiale) and AFPS (Association Familiale et Prévoyance Sociale) and underwritten by AXA.
In the national French health system, the state pays 70% of your medical bills and 30% is paid for you. SOFICAS comes in for that remaining 30% that needs to be paid by you. If you have a permanent contract, this top-up insurance is usually covered by your company (but even if you are covered by your company, you should read on). For entrepreneurs, retired folks, or semi-permanent residents though - your situations may be a little trickier.
For normal doctor's visits, 30% doesn't come up to much, but for unexpected emergencies, this could amount to a substantial figure and more importantly - not all treatments can be covered by typical French insurance coverage.
SOFICAS provides competitive premiums for their policies that are adaptable to your specific case to ensure that you get the maximum value for what you're paying.
"If you know you're going to need an X-ray 2-3 times a year, we can actually adapt the tier to ensure that you don't get pushed up to a higher level to cover that."
Getting into the French system - for entrepreneurs or retirees who have received only a temporary number, Anita can still get you into the French healthcare system. For those who have been waiting for a long time for their Carte Vitale, getting coverage from SOFICAS will actually help to push you into the French system and help get your permanent number and Carte Vitale.
Anita is able to have a call or meet up with you in person (if appropriate) to discuss your situation and send you a quote within a day (without any obligation of course) as well as a full table of coverage with a clear outline of what you will be covered for. If you're not on the cote d'Azur, there are also English-Speaking representatives everywhere in France that you can reach out to as well.