47% believe health cover is essential for expats

Nearly half (47%) of respondents believe that health cover for their employees is an essential part of the benefits package when working overseas, according to research by Expacare.


Its Anatomy of an international business research, which surveyed 1,000 employers, found that 43% believe that share options are an essential part of the package.

Nearly a third (29%) think a relocation allowance is important, while 15% feel private school education for children is a desired element.

More than a quarter (27%) of respondents said their staff have had to use a 24-hour medical helpline, while a further quarter (26%) have had to use medical evacuation when treatment was not available locally.

Nearly half (45%) of respondents believe medical evacuation should be included in an international health insurance policy, while the same percentage believe a 24-hour medical helpline should be included.

The research also found:

  • 16% of respondents think travel insurance will cover their staff when working overseas.
  • 9% believe that, if employees are relocated within the EU, there is no need for additional medical cover.
  • 24% of respondents would like to provide health insurance for their staff, but cannot afford to do so.

Beverly Cook, managing director of Expacare, said: “Health is clearly a concern for business leaders and, with the health provision being so good in the UK, it is important that employees are properly covered when overseas.

“With more organisations than ever looking to increase their international presence, it is concerning that so many are still in the dark when it comes to adequate health provision.

“Far too many think that simple travel insurance or sending their employees to the EU will mean that they will be covered should the worst happen.

“On the other hand, it is pleasing to note that employers appear to have an increasing awareness when it comes to what to include in their benefits package for employees, with a 24-hour medical helpline and medical evacuation being seen as essential.

“This is just as well seeing as these are the two most likely benefits to have been used.

“Organisations moving overseas need to look after their most important asset, their staff, and check the small print on policies to ensure that their workforce remains healthy and productive.”