Expat health insurance top priority for half of businesses

expat worker insurance

Nearly half of companies say expat health insurance is essential for overseas workers.

According to research from Expacare, 47% of companies believe health insurance cover is an essential part of the benefits package for expat employees. The Anatomy of an international business research, which surveyed 1,000 employers, also found that 43% believe that share options are an essential part of the package.

More than a quarter (27%) of those polled said their staff had used a 24-hour medical helpline abroad, and 26% have had to make use of medical evacuation where facilities were not available locally. Nearly half (45%) think medical evacuation should be included as part of an international insurance package, with the same percentage calling for a 24-hour medical helpline.

Beverly Cook, managing director of Expacare, said, “It is pleasing to note that employers appear to have an increasing awareness when it comes to what to include in their benefits package for employees, with a 24-hour medical helpline and medical evacuation being seen as essential.

“This is just as well seeing as these are the two most likely benefits to have been used.”

In addition to health insurance and shares, nearly a third (29%) think a relocation allowance is important, while 15% named private school education for children as a priority.

Echoing a typical view, 16% of respondents still think travel insurance will cover employees on overseas assignments and 9% said, for employees working within the EU, there is no need for additional health insurance. Nearly a quarter (24%) said they would like to provide health insurance for staff, but cannot afford to do so.

“Health is clearly a concern for business leaders and, with the health provision being so good in the UK, it is important that employees are properly covered when overseas, said Cook.

“With more organisations than ever looking to increase their international presence, it is concerning that so many are still in the dark when it comes to adequate health provision. Far too many think that simple travel insurance or sending their employees to the EU will mean that they will be covered should the worst happen.

“Organisations moving overseas need to look after their most important asset, their staff, and check the small print on policies to ensure that their workforce remains healthy and productive.”