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Published on 18 September 2023 at 13:53

Changes in global employment dynamics after a pandemic persist. There is a global war for talent, and many employees who would like to take a 'workcation' are asking their employers whether they can do so.

Short-term international assignments that were traditionally handled by an expat are increasingly being taken on by local employees, and expats are increasingly opting for hybrid working models that allow them to return to living in their home country and commuting aboard as needed, all which points to an increase in international remote work.


The old-fashioned model of expats primarily working in Singapore, London, and New York doesn't exist anymore. Traditional long-term assignments are going to decrease. Instead, the new international hybrid working model that is emerging raises problems about the advantages supplied to employees, such as the possible increase in demand for foreign medical coverage. Ninety days of travel insurance isn't enough to cover people who now want to commute abroad for multiple shorter periods.


There is a need for employers to think about ways to safeguard the health of their foreign staff. Insurers all over the world are taking notice of rising cancer and mental health claims. More than half (55%) of insurers worldwide reported receiving greater claims for later-stage illnesses due to postponed care, with cancer now the leading cause of claim spend. Individuals must not be afraid to ask their insurer for support and prevention and early access to treatment centres of excellence must be a priority.


The prevalence of claims related to employees' mental health has increased both during and after the pandemic. 32% of international employees have less than five one-hour psychiatric counselling sessions covered in their domestic and international plan designs, and 36% have less than 10 sessions.


Despite rising medical expenditures due to variables such as inflation, greater use, and delayed diagnosis, plan benefit levels have not increased over the past few years. The medical trend rate, which measures increases in the cost of delivering healthcare around the world, is projected to reach 12.3% worldwide in 2023.


Making it simpler for international employees to get access to timely and preventative healthcare help is crucial to lowering these projected price increases. Half of insurers are thinking about offering or covering the cost of apps and wearable technologies to empower workers to self-manage diseases, and 37% are thinking about apps that indicate probable diagnoses for simple medical issues.


Seven out of ten insurers (72%), recognising the importance of protecting their clients' health, now offer services that enable employees to virtually talk or text with any suitable doctor or nurse, regardless of the country in which they are physically located. Therefore, as businesses continue to define the "new normal" of global mobility within their organisations, access to these virtual services will become increasingly vital.


Insurance admittance at the national level is also on the rise, making it harder for multinational corporations to secure medical coverage for their employees working in other nations.


Therefore, it is expected to become much more complex to provide employees with a consistent and harmonious healthcare experience, regardless of the country in which they are working. However, this complexity can be successfully managed with suitable international benefit management techniques.


We have many years' experiences that specialise in putting together effective employee benefits plans. To find out how we can help you, please contact us.

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