As international business becomes more of a requirement than an option (especially for Mid-Market and larger companies) many employers are presented with questions about supplemental health insurance. Typically international employers run into supplemental insurance when they import expatriates into their target country, usually local nationals are content with the mandatory minimum insurance rates that the government requires. Expatriates tend to want supplemental health insurances to be guaranteed the same level of care that they would receive domestically; learn more about the differences between hiring local nationals and expats in this previous post.
The Global Business Travel Association is expecting almost a 10% increase in international travel by end of 2016, which is indicative of more international business. We want to help educate you about one of the cost factors usually overlooked by international employers.
- On average supplemental health insurance plans range from $1.50 to $9 a day per person.
- Many health care providers internationally that do not have a socialized system will not allow you to leave after services rendered without some form of guaranteed payment.
Here is more about the different types of supplemental health insurance:
•Long Term Supplemental Health Insurance
Typically business or leisure trips lasting longer than 180 days will need long term supplemental health insurance, which in many cases actually replaces the health insurance coverage that the employee and their family has domestically. These types of plans typically include coverage for a full range of health and accident coverages:
- General Practitioner
- Preventative Services
These types of plans tend assume that the employee and their family will be establishing a new life in the target country and act accordingly.
•Short Term Supplemental Health Insurance
Business or leisure trips lasting less than 180 days fall into the short term category. Short term coverage typically is an add-on to existing domestic health insurances and are more for immediate or emergency situations. Preventative medicine is usually not included. So these medical expenses are usually covered:
- (Maybe) Dentist
- (Maybe) Medications / Prescriptions
•Medical Evacuation Insurance
Depending on the provider, medical evacuation insurance may be included, but it is definitely something your expatriate employees will want. Medical evacuation insurance covers the cost of getting your employee back to their domestic country in the case of a medical emergency. The cost varies depending on the circumstance; you may get lucky and just have to pay a premium on a standard airline if the injury is not life threatening (somewhere from $2000-$10000 USD) but if you need medical professionals on a helicopter or private jet the cost is exponentially greater (think $100,000 USD). Read about some horror stories here. The cost of a stand alone evacuation plan can be anywhere from $15 USD to $350 USD; definitely well worth it.