(Partner Article) Between "Obamacare" and "Trumpcare", it is sometimes difficult to navigate, especially when you have an international insurance. Eric Thoby, director of AgoraExpat, a French company specializing in the distribution of health insurance solutions for businesses and individuals, answers French Morning's questions about the changes facing the French living in the United States.

French Morning: Trump administration seeks to challenge "Obamacare", the health insurance system created by Barack Obama. How is it going to impact the French here?

Eric Thoby: The biggest changes affect personal insurance more than business insurance. From 1 January 2019, the "individual mandate" created by Obamacare, which requires most Americans to have even basic insurance under penalty of tax penalty, is removed. Until now, tax residents in the United States had to provide a number of forms to allow them to be exempted from this penalty. Starting in January, there will be more flexibility in the choice of insurance contracts. This is rather good news for French tax residents in the United States because some had international insurance that did not comply with the rules imposed by Obamacare in terms of effective minimum coverage.

Does this mean that the French will be free to maintain their international insurance henceforth?

Yes and no. Some states whose governor is democratic may decide to continue to impose penalties for non-compliant insurance. The difference is that these would apply at the level of the federated states, and no longer at the federal level. Since the mid-term elections, everything is in abeyance. We will have to pay attention to the rules that will be adopted in the coming months. The debate will depend on each state.

The US insurance market can be terrifying for a Frenchman. What criteria to take into account when choosing your contract?

The first criterion is the price. A young Frenchman who arrives in the United States to set up his business or work independently, not having a huge budget, can choose to resort to emergency solutions for example. The second criterion relates to the guarantees offered by the contract. From this criterion follows the price. If a client has cancer, ongoing treatment or pregnancy, the options will be more limited because we have to find companies that take into account what are known as "pre-existing conditions", medical situations known in the world. time to take out insurance. Expatriate contracts are not always adapted to their circumstances as waiting periods and ceilings apply in certain situations.

How do you help French people looking to make sure?

The US insurance market is complex. We need to explain things well. There are the French settled in the United States for a long time that are not surprised by the cost. But the others are. I always say that you have to budget: if you are single, you have to count 500 dollars on average to make sure; $ 1,500-2,000 for a family. We can always find less expensive solutions, but we have to make sure that it meets the needs. AgoraExpat, which is present in the United States, makes it possible to analyze these needs and to orient the customers as much as possible towards solutions that will answer both the problem of the cost and the need (preventive care, extent of coverage , access to the network of doctors …). The cost of insurance can suddenly become exorbitant if the needs are not well assessed.

Contact Eric THOBY
France: +33 (0) 9 77 21 99 60
US: +1 (917) 684-3599
(Email protected)
The AgoraExpat site


Note: "Partner Articles" are not articles in French Morning's editorial staff. They are provided by or written to the order of an advertiser who determines the content.


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