According to Commerce Exports, 86% of the global economic growth in the next decade is projected to be outside of the U.S. Where exporting used to be for large companies, today the playing field is more level thanks to many resources available to small and medium businesses.
These include programs such as the National Export Initiative, which helps American companies expand into the global marketplace. The Department of Commerce offers education and assistance with negotiations to break down trade barriers. The Department of State has a Direct Line Program that connects business owners to U.S. ambassadors in more than 190 countries.
In addition, today’s technological tools make it affordable and seamless to coordinate overseas operations, communicate with ease in real-time, conduct research and travel anywhere.
There is one vital component however that, if overlooked, could be the source of financial ruin: global health insurance.
The mistake that could cost your company
Sending an employee or a key executive or in some cases, the entrepreneur himself, overseas is a major investment. Most people don’t realize that a medical emergency could put the entire assignment in jeopardy. Not only would it remove an ill employee from his or her position – quite possibly for the long term, but that vacancy will impact on the overall project as well as the reputation and very future of the company.
Taking care of the health of your vital assets
Many startups have misguided beliefs about global health plans. They may believe that their domestic health plan will suffice, and that they can get reimbursed when they return to their home country. But sometimes they don’t have that opportunity.
Imagine being sick and trying to communicate your illness to medical staff who don’t understand you, and who are demanding payment before you receive care.
When an employee falls ill, what is critically important is having direct access to a world-class medical facility. Expats need high quality care, 24 hours assistance from someone who speaks their language and can communicate with a medical provider, and assurance of guaranteed payment when they need it most. In the worse case scenario, they may require evacuation out of the country to an appropriate facility, which is definitely not something a domestic plan has provisions for.
There is no need to gamble on expats staying safe and healthy. Affordable, custom-designed world-class health insurance packages are available for groups of 2 or more, and could include the following.
- Coverage for employees working in the US for a foreign-owned company or employees who routinely travel outside their home country
- Coverage for families of employees who live or routinely travel out of their home country
- 24/7 multilingual emergency assistance with a single call
- Global network of medical facilities that are “Centers of Excellence”
- Emergency medical evacuation from anywhere in the world
- Concierge-level member service
With 95% of the world’s population living outside the U.S., the potential is vast for businesses of all sizes that are casting their eyes overseas. Don’t let your vision for company expansion be shortsighted by overlooking global expat health insurance. Contact us today to discuss your needs.
The Mercer 2011/2012 Benefits Survey for Expatriates and Globally Mobile Employees saw the number of employees on international assignments increased by two-thirds since 2008/2009. Employees on temporary or permanent foreign assignments are key assets to an organization. If the individual becomes ill while away, it could negatively affect the assignment, and even terminate it prematurely. That’s why it’s absolutely critical that your international healthcare plan has the right components. Here are the top six things to avoid with your benefits plan for global employees.
Expats can expect not only a high-standard of healthcare in Berlin, but also a culture created around the idea of healthy living.
Healthcare costs aren’t growing quite as rapidly as they have in the past, according to new research from Buck Consultants.
The study predicts that health insurance costs will rise this year by less than 10 percent — the first time growth has been that low in more than a decade. The findings could undermine Republicans’ argument that President Obama’s healthcare law is driving costs higher.
International SOS has evacuated over 800 people from Egypt – primarily expatriate employees and families of 40 clients from private corporations, non-profit organisations, as well as students.
Regional Managing Director of International SOS Dr Ian Cornish, says passengers were transported to Frankfurt, Paris and Dubai, using seven different flights where International SOS reception teams were meeting them.
“Operating flights in and out of Egypt has been very difficult, with significant delays and last minute cancellations.”
Self-appointed commandos stand guard at intersections all over the Cairo neighborhood of Maadi, apparently a haven for retired military from several countries. Some defenders wear camouflage, ski masks and Kevlar vests. They wield very large guns. Civilian troops pack too, though more creatively: kitchen knives, golf clubs, 2x4s and baseball bats.
“Who knew so many people played baseball in Cairo?” says my friend Randi.
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