According to a new report, a quarter (23%) of businesses would like to provide international health insurance for their expat employees, but cannot afford to do so.
The Anatomy of an International Business report from Expacare, found over a quarter (28%) of respondents considered health insurance to be an essential for overseas employees. However, a third of companies believe international health insurance is a personal choice made by the employee.
Expacare identified a lack of knowledge on the behalf of companies when it comes to employees’ insurance needs, with 16% believing travel insurance would provide sufficient health coverage.
In addition, one in ten employers believe there is no need for health insurance when operating within the EU.
Expacare Managing Director Beverly Cook said the research shows, a “lack of understanding”, from employers on how to best care for staff posted abroad. She also warned some employers are simply not offering international health coverage due to costs. Meanwhile, others “risk omitting some crucial elements from the cover”.
The survey showed, while employers demonstrated good intentions, most companies were aware of the elements they considered to be the most important in a policy, they lacked understanding. A fifth highlighted cancer cover as one of the most vital parts of coverage, while nearly two-fifths considered medical evacuation to be crucial.
“While many have good intentions, we were shocked to see that so many believe travel insurance would cover all health care needs. I cannot stress enough how valuable it is for employers to research the country they are sending their employees to and understand the risks,” added Beverly Cook.