40% of expatriates do not have employer-provided medical benefits


Two-fifths (40%) of expatriate respondents say they are not provided with medical benefits by their employer, according to research by Cigna.

Its 2017 Cigna 360 wellbeing survey: globally mobile individuals report, which surveyed 2,003 individuals who work in markets outside of their birthplace in Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle East, Africa, and the United States, also found that 51% of respondents would prefer to return to their home countries to receive medical treatment, however, 13% are unable to do so due to a lack of insurance cover.

The research also found:

  • 19% of respondents are worried about accidents, compared to 13% of the general working population;  13% fear suffering from mental illness and depression; and 3% are concerned about alcohol-related health problems.
  • 15% of respondents have no medical cover at all.
  • 53% believe health insurance is important when considering moving overseas.
  • Just 13% of respondents believe they have sufficient money for retirement, and 88% say they do not have financial security if they are unable to work.
  • 75% of respondents enjoy the experience of working abroad.
  • 28% of respondents are very happy with the amount of time they have available to spend with their family.

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Jason Sadler (pictured), president at Cigna International Markets, said: “The results show that globally mobile individuals are more concerned than the general working population about their own health and wellbeing, and that of their families. Without exception, this group is worried about the consequences of personal or family member illness; an issue compounded by a gap in health benefits provided by their employers.

“The survey shows health benefits are a very important factor when deciding to take an overseas posting. Despite this, there is a significant gap. There is a clear need for employers to pay attention to the health and wellbeing of their globally mobile employees. This duty of care should extend outside of the office when employers are interacting with their families and local community.”