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Companies fail to provide health cover due to ‘cost’

by Brian Sims

Nearly one quarter (23 per cent) of employers want to provide international health insurance to staff working abroad, but claim that the cost prevents them, according to a report by Expacare. The research revealed that one third of employers (33 per cent) consider it a personal choice for employees. However, more than one quarter (28 per cent) of employers’ view international health insurance as essential for any staff working abroad. Healthcare inflation is currently at an all-time high, meaning businesses are ever more wary of costly insurance. For companies operating with staff overseas, it is crucial they ensure their employees are adequately covered. They should purchase the right policy, using a tailored approach or modular approach according to their business needs, particularly if budgets are limited. They should also know exactly what their staff are covered for so they are not left vulnerable overseas. Employers are aware of the elements they consider most important on an international healthcare plan. Twenty per cent believe that cancer cover is one of the most important parts of a policy, while nearly 40 per cent believe medical evacuation is crucial. One quarter seek a 24-hour medical helpline and just over one quarter want their staff to have a choice of medical facilities and doctors. However, many still omit a number of vital provisions, despite there being a number of flexible options available. Palliative cancer cover is an often overlooked element on policies, with only one in ten considering this most important. This is despite a high number of employers citing cancer cover as essential. The report also indicated some causes for concern. Sixteen per cent of employers think travel insurance covers their staff’s health needs overseas. Meanwhile, a further one in ten believes that when operating in the EU there is no need for health insurance.

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