Selecting Corporate Health Insurance
For companies operating overseas and employing expatriate staff, high quality health insurance cover, usually including repatriation back to and employees "base country" , ranks as one of the very highest employee concerns – particularly where operations are being carried out in developing country environments and families are present. And if business operations span a number of countries, with employees mobile between sites or on business trips, the health cover needs to be both global and flexible in nature.
In terms of choosing health cover, companies usually have very much the same perspective as employees in terms of ensuring that cover is broad, robust and provided by an experienced, reputable insurer. Companies will usually focus on the following considerations when assessing appropriate health cover:
This issue extends to both geographical and product cover, and a global product will either include, or include optionally:
- Comprehensive health cover anywhere in the world.
- Emergency support, medical evacuation, security and crisis management
- War and terrorism cover
Options to extend cover to include:
- Workers compensation replacement benefits
- Income protection
- Corporate travel insurance
Individual health policies normally preclude the coverage of pre-existing medical conditions – either on a permanent basis or until a waiting period has expired. However, corporate coverage of employees can usually be arranged so that pre-existing conditions are covered, subject to a number of conditions, such as:
- The loading of premiums to reflect the potential added cost, at a rate which depends on the number of employees covered by the plan, and
- A minimum group size of 20 employees being required, with mandatory participation.
Absolutely essential to a quality expatriate health insurance plan is the prompt and efficient payment of claims. Members members should be able to lodge claims on-line and receive payments into nominated international bank accounts free of bank charges within specified periods.
Global policies will usually have direct billing facilities in multiple countries so that a cashless service is available in many situations and member websites that allow members to track and follow the status of their claims.
The premiums paid for expatriate health plans are basically claims driven and there a number of ways claim costs can be contained or controlled through the introduction of:
Companies can select from a range of deductible/ co-payment options in order to contain annual premiums.
Direct Bill Networks
Access to direct bill medical facilities and Preferred Provider organisations (PPO’s), especially in high cost locales such as the US and Canada, can ensure consistent standards of care and costs worldwide.
Employers wishing to explore potential arrangements for employees working overseas, whether as individuals or as part of a larger corporate group, are invited to contact Exfin via the Inquiry form below.