International Employee Medical Benefits

Employee benefits, group health, business travel accident or international evac.  There are a handful of long-term and short-term policy types when looking into a plan to protect your employees overseas with their medical access and coverage.

Most international policies only cover specific aspects of your protection while working and living abroad.

The only policy to cover all areas of your international travel is an International Medical Insurance policy.  One that provides protection for:

  • Hospital, outpatient, preventive, maternity, Rx, Lab & X-ray, physical therapy, doctor visits, vision and dental.
  • Emergency medical evacuation. Air medical to another city, country or back to your home country for care.
  • 24/7/365 member services and access to trained staff to help with your medical needs.
  • Phone, tablet or electronic applications to assist in finding local doctors, search doctor profiles, fill prescription, make appts, common medical terms in other languages, connect with insurance company, etc.

Individual and Group Options:

Many employers who have a few employees on long term foreign assignment can enroll the employees and any family members on an “Individual International Medical Plan,” or choose to start a group policy if there will be more than several needing global protection.

Individual and family plans are easy, quick to enroll in and have similar coverage as their group counterpart.  The one area where enrolling may be tricky is, “individual” plans have limited medical underwriting, meaning a person or employee who is applying will need to answer several health status questions, and the approval is based on current ans past health status.

Group International medical plans do not have any health status questions and the enrollment is guaranteed as long as the employee, contractor or third country national are affiliated with the company they are enrolling with.  Payroll is not necessary to enroll in a new application.

Below are an example of International Medical Benefits:

When trying to decide to go with an Individual or Group policy, first consider the health status of the employees moving abroad, second how many are there.  If everyone is healthy and you have more than 5 ot 6 employees, you may want to consider starting a Group International Medical plan.

If you have 2 employees and one has a few medical issues, I would still go with a group plan.  One, two or three employees in good health, Individual medical is the way to go.

And remember you can always change from individual to group or group to individual.

If you are looking at some of the low priced company/plans, be careful, many of these will not medically underwrite and review at the time of application.  Instead they will underwrite at the time of claim and at that point determine if the cause of claim is due to a pre-existing condition.

Here is a little information on Pre-Existing conditions and Exclusions.

Plans, policies, benefits, exclusions, doctor networks, claims, member services … they are all very different depending on the company providing the service.

Are you looking for the “right plan,” the “lowest cost” plan, or are you relying on your domestic health insurance policy?  Of these three, I hope it is not the domestic group health plan.  Domestic health insurance provides drastically low levels of coverage when you leave the U.S. borders.

The “right plan” on the other hand is specifically designed to help provide and pay for your medical care, deliver easy access to talented medical professionals and deliver concierge level services wherever you are worldwide.

John Conner

Information Request:

Author: John Conner

Medicare Plan Options