The top five mistakes that executives make when choosing international health insurance

The top five mistakes that executives make when choosing international health insurance

6th December, 2016

Nowadays, a lot of business owners offer international health insurance as an employee perk. This comes with many benefits. Not only does it raise employee satisfaction, and consequently retention rates, but also it can lead to a healthier workforce and thus reduce absenteeism in the process. However, you will only experience these benefits if you choose a worldwide medical insurance plan with care. Below, we take a look at five of the most common mistakes executives make when choosing international health insurance, so that you can avoid them.  

  1. Choosing domestic health insurance instead of international health insurance – one of the most common mistakes employers make is choosing domestic over international health insurance.  If you have employees located either outside their home country or are located where the standard of local healthcare isn’t up to scratch, they need international health insurance.  Offering an international health insurance plan means that your employees can choose where in the world they seek medical treatment – whether it be their home country or where the standard of healthcare is better than where they have been posted.
  2. Assuming that pre-existing conditions are covered – it’s crucial to do your homework here.  It’s entirely possible to find a plan where your employees can access a full range of benefits with no restrictions from their previous medical history or the imposed waiting periods for benefits such as dental and maternity care.  But – they never come and standard and there is always a cost attached so make sure that you ask for what is called a ‘Medical History Disregarded’ option when you are doing your research. 
  3. Not including your employees in the selection process – You should not overlook the opinions of your employees. Include them in your discussions about international health insurance coverage. This is important for two reasons. Firstly, you will get a better understanding of their insurance needs. Secondly, you can encourage them to take responsibility for their health care spending. Discussions like this are also positive in creating a healthier workforce, which will, of course, benefit you in the long run. You may think it is simply easier to choose a worldwide medical plan yourself. But, what is the point in implementing this as an employee perk if you choose an insurance policy that is not suited to their needs?
  4. Failing to understand the eligibility requirements – Another common error is failing to understand the eligibility requirements of an international medical insurance policy before selecting it. In general, international health insurance plans have what is known as ‘compulsory membership’, which means that within the category of employees you have selected to cover, everyone must be included without exception.  It doesn’t mean that all employees have to be included but say for instance that you decide that all senior managers are eligible, you will be contractually   obliged to add any new members of staff when they join the company.
  5. Choosing the wrong plan - Last but not least, it can be very tempting to buy the cheapest plan in order to save money. However, this is something you should consider: the likes of wellness or alternative therapy benefits may seem unnecessary, but when it comes to retaining the best and competing for new talent, extra coverage like this could make all of the difference. This also links to the earlier part regarding including your employees in discussions regarding international health insurance. It could prove extremely useful, as you will be able to find out what type of benefits would be the most beneficial for them. After all, you don’t want to select something that they will barely use or be interested in.

 If you can avoid the five mistakes that have been mentioned above, you should find it a lot easier to choose the right group international health insurance plan for your business. Make sure you are fully aware of what the plan encompasses and who will be eligible, and don’t forget to include your employees in discussions, especially those about benefits

Alison Massey

Group Marketing Director

Now Health International

Alison Massey is a 15-year digital marketing veteran, who has spent the last seven years using social media to help expats and soon to be expats find out what to expect from a life overseas. An expat living in Hong Kong herself, Alison is the Group Marketing Director of Now Health, the award-winning international health insurance provider.

Contact Alison Massey

Back To Top