87% of expat staff value healthcare benefits

38% of employers do not know the cost of healthcare benefitsNew research has revealed that 87% of expatriate workers prioritise family healthcare-related employment benefits when considering a job abroad.

A survey by international private medical insurance business Aetna International of 1,000 expatriates living in Singapore, UAE, Germany, and Mexico, found that 44% expect their employer healthcare cover to include their partner and, if applicable, those in their family who are relocating with them.

A further 39% expect full healthcare cover just for them, whereas 8% said that it is not something they have thought about and plan to rely on the system in the country they relocate to.

The research also highlighted that almost one in three (30%) claim access to quality healthcare is the biggest challenge of living as an expatriate, ranking this above finding a suitable home (23%), language barriers (22%), high living costs (21%), and access to quality schooling (20%).

In addition, 70% had concerns about accessing quality healthcare during the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, while 85% said the financial package on offer is valued and 83% claimed the career prospect of the role is as an important factor.

Damian Lenihan, executive director of Europe at Aetna International, commented that the pandemic has likely encouraged people to think more about the type of healthcare they can access.

Lenihan explained that, with the value placed on quality healthcare by expatriates, international employers may need to consider if their healthcare policies meet expectation levels and are sufficiently competitive to attract the best talent, with the findings suggesting that employers may need to do more to reassure those relocating from overseas.

“Of course, relocating to another country comes with many benefits and challenges, but interestingly we are potentially seeing healthcare as one of the top considerations with expats taking opportunities abroad. Over and above, if not on par with, lifestyle and career prospects,” he added.