Arranging Corporate International Health Insurance
For companies engaged in overseas activities, high quality health insurance cover, including repatriation back to base country where appropriate, ranks as one of the very highest employee concerns – particularly where operations are being carried out in developing country environments. And since operations will often 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 assessing and 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 and is cost effective. Whether an employing company is Australian, or otherwise, they 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
- An option to comply with Australia’s Medicare system, if the company is Australian based
- Options to extend cover to include:
- Workers compensation replacement benefits
- Income protection
- Corporate travel
Individual health policies will normally preclude pre-existing medical conditions from cover – either on a permanent basis or until a waiting period has expired. However, corporate cover can usually be arranged so that these conditions are covered, subject to a number of conditions, such as:
- Covering pre-existing conditions may result in premiums being loaded 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 intrinsic to a quality expatriate health insurance plan is the prompt and efficient payment of claims; members should be able to lodge claims online and receive payments into international bank accounts free of bank charges.
Global policies usually have direct bill facilities in multiple countries to enable a cashless service and have member websites that enable members to track and follow up the status of their claims.
The premiums paid for expatriate health plans are fundamentally claims driven and there a number of ways claim costs can be contained 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 staff working overseas, whether as individuals or as part of a larger group, are invited to contact Exfin via the inquiry form below. No cost or commitment is involved.