In this last quarter of 2021, we set out to meet a father and his two sons, between Geneva, London and New York. Three extraordinary personalities, three captivating life paths in the four corners of the globe. All of them have in common a tremendous appetite for a rich life, between exciting jobs, a fulfilling family life and a marked attraction for travel. All of them are also insured with OPAL, a product that perfectly meets their expectations as expatriates for the sons and seasoned travellers for the parents. For although Pedro Simko, the father, currently lives in Switzerland, foreign countries have always been a part of his life, whether for work or pleasure. He was the first person we met, the opportunity to discuss the notion of “health coverage” at over 60, and how to reconcile life at a hundred miles an hour with risk management.
Based in Switzerland, you travel frequently. Was this the deciding factor for you to start looking into an international insurance company like OPAL?
At the very beginning, yes. When my wife and I started to look for insurance that could cover us everywhere, under the same conditions as in our home country, OPAL seemed to be the best option.
And I stress this notion of global coverage, because not only are we frequent travellers, but our children live abroad, one in the UK and the other in the US, giving us the virtual certainty of being there several times a year.
Were there any factors other than this global coverage aspect that influenced your choice?
Yes, and I would start with the absence of deductibles, which is a fundamental point. As you said in your introduction, my wife and I live a very full life, we are extremely dynamic, and we are also very healthy. In ten years, I have had only one health problem, and my wife has had none. So we are not “risky” clients for insurance companies, and for the first time we can get out of this kind of calculation on a predictive risk of “yes, but if something happens to me, I should take a lower deductible” or the other way around.
Secondly, I was also attracted by the ease. Here, everything is done through the OPAL application. It’s an efficient tool, fast and extremely simple to understand. You take a photo of your expenses, send it, and wait for the refund. That’s it!
Finally, and this is an equally important aspect, I was seduced by the perception of what medical care is. It’s not just health cover that can be activated once the health problem is there, but already in prevention. For example, my wife, who is very keen on so-called alternative medicine, is now having her medical expenses in this area reimbursed.
In my opinion, health insurance that encourages prevention is good health insurance!
Speaking of coverage, what is your assessment of these months of subscription to OPAL?
Again, extremely positive. I would describe the coverage as very fair in that the potential grey areas linked to certain treatments – which other insurances might point to – are not present here. Let me explain: sometimes certain invoices raise questions, but with OPAL and the advisers available 24 hours a day the answer comes straight away, and it is very often positive.
OPAL is a structure that supports and reinforces the service, and that’s what I like.
Next episode: Simko Jr., choosing OPAL as an expatriate living in London.