Why choose a private expat health plan over a government plan?

When you live abroad you are often faced with the following choice: Do I go on the domestic government public health plan OR do I purchase global medical coverage? Some countries will allow you to choose while others mandate or automatically cover you under the state plan. In some Gulf State countries such as the UAE, you have to be covered by a locally admitted insurer in order to obtain and retain your work visa. In countries such as Canada, expats are often enrolled in the provincial medical system after a waiting period of 3 to more than 12 months and in the interim most will opt for a travel medical insurance plan. The key with domestic plans is that they almost always only cover you in that country. Also, some domestic plans often only provide public or basic medical coverage and support. That is why expats around the world often contact Expat Financial to obtain a global medical quote.

Global Coverage?

However, if you are an expatriate, you usually require global medical coverage that moves with you and covers you locally, regionally and globally – especially back home. You may have a trailing spouse and child back home who you need to cover or a dependent attending university abroad – these people can’t be covered by a government plan.

Access to Private Care?

Domestic government health plans usually only provide access to public hospitals and doctors. This can mean access to more basic and restrictive medical facilities. Often domestic medical systems will restrict access to medical care and expats will be faced with long waiting lists to see specialists, obtain medical tests and receive surgical care. In Canada, the waiting lists can range from months to years to obtain medical treatment. Emergency care is usually received quickly in public hospitals. However, many expats want to be able to seek medical treatment in private hospitals and clinics.

Flexibility of Expat Plans

When you are an expat on a government health plan, there is no flexibility in your medical coverage – you get the same medical care that all domestic nationals are provided. Whereas with a private expat health plan, you can pick and choose what benefits are provided and as long as you have a relatively clean medical history, most pre-existing medical conditions should be able to be covered. You can even add dental and vision coverage, which is almost never provided by government run systems.

Portability of Coverage – A problem for Government Run Plans

As noted above, government run medical plans cover you only in your home country. These public health plans are not portable whereas expats are. So when you move to a new destination you will not be able to take the government health plan with you whereas the global medical plan is portable to almost all nations around the world. A global plan can also cover you when you travel abroad for business or pleasure. This is especially important for expat employers with globally mobile employees.

Government Cut Backs

Economic problems around the developed and developing world means that health budgets are being slashed and services and coverage are being curtailed. Such access and budget cut-backs can seriously impact an expat’s ability to access medical care.

US Affordable Care Act

If you are an expat in the USA and are paying taxes, it will probably mean that you will need to get a domestic health plan in the USA that is part of the Obama Care or Affordable Care Act (ACA), especially if you are not covered by your employer. If you do not have coverage under the ACA, you may be faced with tax fines that can really add up. Talk to your tax or legal adviser.

For Expats Living Abroad – The Choice is Clear

For global citizens, it is critical that you contact Expat Financial to discuss your global medical insurance requirements and discuss the advantages of having a health plan that can cover you and your family globally and address the many concerns you may have with government medical insurance. The same problems we have talked about above also often extend to domestic health plans. We offer some excellent global medical plans for expatriates that can provide global access to healthcare and not leave you at the mercy of government run health coverage. Our most popular individual plans are from Cigna & IMG, which provide you the ability to obtain a quote and apply online. If you are an HR manager, please contact us for a group plan to cover your mobile expat population.

Weather Advisories and Alerts for Expats - Tropical Cyclone Season Tips

Weather Advisories and Alerts for Expats – Tropical Cyclone Season

Recently, U.S. State Department and The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) alerted people to the South Pacific Tropical Cyclone Season, which begins November 1, 2016, and ends April 30, 2017. Travelers and expatriates living in South Pacific countries should definitely consider the potential dangers and be prepared for any weather emergencies. In this article, we will discuss South Pacific Tropical Cyclone and provide advisories for expats residing in cyclone prone regions. China and the Philippines recently experienced a very strong cyclone.

What is a Cyclone?

A tropical cyclone, or referred as tropical storm, cyclonic storm, it is characterized by heavy rains, strong winds and thunderstorms. During cyclone seasons, regions affected may experience local infrastructure damage, such as electricity outage, flights cancellations and more. This will follow by a series of adverse events, including shortages of accommodations, medical supplies, food and water.

How Can Expats Prepare?

  • Always stay aware of any weather conditions in your destination by radio, TV or other sources of information;
  • Statistics showed that minor tropical cyclones can quickly develop into dangerous storms. Follow local safety instructions for evacuations;
  • Use our blog post Top Ten Questions and Tips for Expats Moving Abroad to help you keep organized;
  • Visit our blog post What is Your Plan for Medical Emergencies While Residing Overseas? for medical emergency evacuations information;
  • Always carry your hotel and your country’s Embassy or Consulate’s phone number wherever you go. Register with your consulate if possible;
  • Store some fresh water and bring purification tablets;
  • Keep a medical kit in a water tight container;
  • Keep your car fuel tank full;
  • Prepare your expat residence to weather the storm;
  • Remain indoors if there is a storm & evacuate the area if the authorities recommend leaving;
  • Bring a survival & disaster kit if you are residing in a cyclone prone area. Be prepared to be on your own for several days till help arrives.

Global Health Insurance Considerations for Expats 

If encounter medical emergency situations while abroad, preparation beforehand is key. A cyclone or other weather event can cause significant damage and injuries to locals, visitors and long term expatriates. Also, cyclones can damage water supplies, increase insect diseases and water born sickness, so your health plan will be critical. Medical emergency evacuation is a critical if you become sick or inured after a cyclone event where local hospitals might not be able to address your medical needs. The cost of ambulances, helicopters, traveling medical care and planes can be incredibly high if you do not have an adequate medical evacuation plan, especially in a natural disaster.

Expat Financial offers several different international health insurance plans for expatriates across most parts of the globe. If you have questions about our international medical insurance plans or you want to discuss your needs and produce a customized quote, please contact us or complete the quote form

Additional Resources

Please note that blow are other websites and are not maintained by Expat Financial:

How to lower your global medical insurance premiums – Five tips for expats

China air pollution and its health impact on expats – Expat insurance

As one of the most famous tourist destinations in the world, China has roughly a 5,000 year civilization and abundant culture and tourist resources. With its rich historical heritage, China attracts more and more visitors & expats from around the globe. However, in recent years, due to its fast growth in economies and industrialization, environmental issues – especially air quality has raised a broader concern in China. Many cities have been affected by smog. In this article, we will discuss China air quality situation and how it will impact expats relocating to China.

China Air Quality Study

According to a new study of air quality in five major cities by a team of researchers at Peking University, Guanghua School of Management, among Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu and Shenyang, the most favourable city is Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong province, next to Hong Kong. The second best is Shanghai. Actually, based on the statistical report, expats relocating to China would want to settle in the Southern area to minimize exposure to polluted air.

The reason why Guangzhou and Shanghai are better is because they are closer to the sea and have more rainfall, according to Mr. Chen Songxi, a statistician at Peking University. He recommends government to cut down emissions.

Beijing has some of the worst pollution problems in China. This is because Beijing is the capital, cultural and economic centre in China. Also, this exciting and crowded city has more than five million motor vehicles along with heavy manufacturing and power plants. Though strong north wind during fall and winter would help clear the air, that still doesn’t address the source of the problem – car emissions, heavy industries, power stations, etc…

In addition, Beijing often experiences sandstorms during Springtime, which can make air quality even worse. The skyline can turn orange due to the sandy weather. Pedestrians often have to wear masks to protect themselves from the dust.

Health Impacts of Smog on Expatriate’s Health

Some expats are refusing work assignments in some Chinese cities because of the high rate of pollution. Here are some health impacts for locals and expats residing in highly polluted cities:

  • Air pollution can impact food safety in China, likely because of smog can inhibit photosynthesis in plants
  • Expats with pre-existing medical conditions can have their medical health impacted by air pollution, especially those with asthma or COPD
  • Children, elderly and children are more susceptible to the impact of pollution
  • Air pollution can irritate your eyes and lungs
  • Decreased life span caused by increased chance of conditions such as bronchitis or even cancer
  • Decreased lung function

If you are concerned, check with you doctor on how you can mitigate the impact of China’s air pollution if you are going to become an expat there.

Will high pollution levels make expats think twice before moving to China? 

One of the largest considerations for expatriates thinking of moving to China is the prevalence of hazardous levels of air pollution in the city centers, especially in Beijing. Recently in both 2016 and early 2017, there have been extremely pollution levels that make going outside hazardous for your health. This is a big concern for expatriates, especially those with families. Some expats will want to choose an expat assignment in a Chinese city with the lowest air pollution levels. A city near the ocean is an obvious choice.

What You Can Do 

The Chinese government has been working hard to solve air pollution issues and is making some progress. In the meantime, expats residing in China would want to look at the following tips in order to stay healthy and safe:

  • Check weather report often, so that you can be more careful when choosing to go outdoors;
  • Purchase green plants for your home or your office help with air purifying;
  • If smog levels are high, wear masks when going outdoors. You can buy masks at convenient store and supermarkets, but make sure you invest in a high quality mask with a high pollution blocking rating;
  • If there is severe air pollution warnings, don’t go outside if possible.
  • Think about moving to a city in China that has less air pollution.

Bring International Health Insurance

Air pollution can severely impact your health if you are living in China, which is another reason to maintain a global medical plan. If you plan to stay in China to work and live for some time, it is strongly suggested that you should obtain quality expat health insurance. With current air pollution situation in China, you will want to protect yourself and your family from health related issues. Although in many major cities there are some satisfactory public hospitals for expats to choose, the method of payment and the quality of medical treatment may be inadequate. For the popular choice of foreign-run hospitals, expats are usually required to make payment in advance before receiving medical treatment. It can be very expensive for emergency treatment and medications in most of the international hospitals. You may want to get out-patient medical option in your health coverage if you are going to live in a city with smog as you may have to visit your doctor more often.

With a comprehensive expat health insurance plan for you and your family, you can be covered for medical expenses, hospitalization and treatments, medicines and emergency evacuations – which is what you need to stay in China. If you are going for a short visit to China, then most people will purchase travel medical insurance for up to one year. Some Chinese embassies require proof of health insurance before issuing visas especially if you are a foreign student. If you are planning to reside in China, it is critical that you purchase international health insurance plan that will not only cover you in China, but globally as well – including back home.

Expat Financial offers several different international health insurance plans for expatriates of any nationality across the world. We also offer excellent service before and after you purchase your international health insurance plan. Our firm is also very experienced in sourcing group plans for multinational firms with expats in China.  If you have questions about our international medical insurance plans or you want to discuss your unique needs and produce a customized expat quote, please contact us or complete the quote form

Comprehensive insurance coverage for luxury travelers & high net worth expats

Luxury travelers and high income expats are taking advantage of what the world of high end travel and living can offer.  This rising group have higher income and spending power and advanced service expectations. They are expecting a luxury hospitality experience, expensive travel package, special privileges, glamorous activities. In essence, luxury travelers and high income expatriates living overseas are willing to spend the most. However, when talking about travel medical and long term expat heath plans, does your insurance policy fit your luxury trip and lifestyle? In this article, we will discuss comprehensive travel medical plans for luxury travelers & expats around the globe.

Travel Medical for Short Term Travels

If you are traveling abroad for a short term trip up to one year, it is critical to obtain medical and evacuation coverage for your entire trip that will cover emergency illnesses or injuries abroad. You should also maintain your domestic plan as emergency travel insurance plans do not cover you back in your home country. It is important to read through your travel insurance policy and make sure that your medical conditions and emergencies are covered. For instance, some travel plans may not cover medical emergencies. Our firm offers several travel medical plans from various insurers and providers. With IMG Patriot travel insurance coverage, you are covered with trip cancellation, lost baggage, emergency evacuation & repatriation, covering from as short as 15 days to 24 months.

travel-health-career

We also offer the more deluxe travel medical plan from BUPA travel insurance via our travel insurance web site. You can be covered for single trips up to one year purchase an annual multi-trip plan for unlimited numbers trips up to one month per trip.

For adventurous international travelers, Patriot Adventure is designed for them. This is a short term medical insurance coverage available for both individual and family sports enthusiasts: from 30 days up to six months.

International Health Insurance for High Income Expats

High income expats often expect a level of coverage and policy service that is a step above what more basic expat health plans will offer. While not wanting to overpay for coverage, these high net worth expats are often sent abroad by large multinationals, choosing to retire abroad or travel for an extended period of time. They expect a higher level of coverage than the average expatriate.

Some may choose to rely upon the local health plans, but these policies usually do not allow you to access medical treatment at more satisfactory private hospitals and clinics. Also, local plans in many countries may only provide very basic medical coverage that nay not achieve luxury traveler’s requirements. Even worse, local plans won’t cover you outside the country or allow you to seek treatment abroad. An international health insurance plan will let you select the hospital and doctor world-wide. Most of the plans will let you enjoy direct payment, no need to advance cash payment first.

The cost of international health insurance will vary by plan & insurer. Expat Financial offers several different international health insurance plans for expatriates of any nationality across the world. Our most comprehensive policy is the Cigna Global Health Options plan.

international-professional-health-coverage

We also offer excellent service before and after you purchase your international health insurance plan. If you have questions about our international medical insurance plans or you want to discuss your needs and produce a customized quote, please contact us or complete the quote form. As noted above, having excellent global medical coverage will not only give you peace of mind, but will help you maintain your health.

Great tips for expats and people traveling to Myanmar

Bordered by India, China and Thailand, Myanmar is a fascinating county located in South East Asia. It is a country rich in natural resources such as jade, gold and oil, but also in cultural terms with beautiful temples, friendly people & excellent food. The capital city is Naypyidaw. Due to the religion influence of Buddhism, Myanmar has many temples through out the country. Myanmar was previously known as Burma and was considered a rogue country during the oppressive rule of a military junta from 1962 to 2011. Luckily the country has transitioned to a democracy with the help of Aung San Suu Kyi. Note that civil strife and riots can often occur in the capital, so take adequate precautions and stay up to date on the situation there.

The climate is overall very pleasant. Myanmar is becoming a popular travel destination today. Under the development of the government, Myanmar is attracting more arrivals in the next few years. Due to the conservative culture there, you should know its customs and expected behaviours before departure. In this article, we will provide some tips for living and traveling in Myanmar.

Things You Should Do

  • When visiting religious sites such as temples, make sure that you are wearing conservative clothes.
  • Myanmar people are friendly. Try to smile often.
  • Learn some Burmese language before leaving. At least some basic words.
  • Try traditional Myanmar transportation tools: city buses, horse cart, vintage taxis, three wheelers carts, etc.
  • Use both hands when delivering and receiving something to religious people or an elderly person.
  • Shaking hands only applies to men, but this may be different depending on the persons you are meeting
  • Bow body in front of elderly people.
  • Follow instructions. If there’s a sign advised not to go, please stay away from it.

Things You Should Avoid 

  • Don’t show too intimate behaviour in front of the public.
  • Don’t wear shoes and socks inside a pagoda or temple.
  • If there is a civil disturbance or demonstration, leave the area immediately as the situation can turn violent very quickly.
  • Avoid wearing sleeveless tops or short skirt when visiting religious sights.
  • Indoor mats and carpets might meant to be sat upon. Avoid walking on them with shoes.
  • Don’t pose and take picture in front of Buddha statues because they viewed as sacred.
  • If you are a man, you should not offer to shake hands with a Myanmar lady.
  • Don’t point anybody with your foot. Especially in temples.
  • Don’t go to places where you are advised not to go.
  • Don’t take pictures of people unless you asked for their permission.

Obtaining the Right Coverage of International Health Insurance While Residing in Myanmar 

Make sure that you obtain travel medical insurance if your are visiting Myanmar for business or pleasure. If you are living in Myanmar, a tailored international health insurance plan should provide flexible and world-wide service. The medical facilities in the country are often quite basic and may not be able to handle more serious illnesses or injuries, so medical evacuation cover is recommended. It will not only let you select the hospital, medical providers and doctors, but also provide you with direct payment so that you do not need to worry about any out-of-pocket medical expenses.

The cost of international health insurance will vary depending on the insurer, policy and options you choose. The bigger the deductible, the lower the premium. Expat Financial offers several different international health insurance plans for expatriates across most parts of the globe, including expats and even some local nationals in Myanmar. We can even offer international group insurance plans for employers with expat employees in Myanmar. If you have questions about our international medical insurance plans or you wish to discuss your needs and produce a customized quote, please contact us or complete the expat insurance quote form.

Business travel insurance policies – Cover your employees traveling abroad

Business travel is a crucial part of the job. You will always carry tasks at hand and learn something new. But you want to avoid getting sick – there are ways to stay healthy and safe on the road. With an appropriate business travel insurance plan, your employee can be covered traveling around most if not the entire world. In this article, we will introduce business travel insurance policies to provide your company and the employees with peace of mind.

Why Business Travel Insurance is Important? 

Companies constantly need to expand their markets and reaching and maintaining international customers means that your company will have to send employees overseas for short and extended business trips. It is your company and management’s fiduciary responsibility to provide excellent medical and evacuation coverage when you send your employees abroad for business. Emergency medical claims that are the result of an illness or injury can be quite substantial, so it makes sense to protect your organization’s bottom line and obtain business travel coverage. This is especially important as domestic health plans often do not cover employees who travel abroad.

During your intensive business trip, you might not have the chance to consume healthy food nor the time to work out – sometimes you don’t even know what’s the place you’ll be staying. For business owners, time is money. You want to make sure that your employee is best protected with peace of mind when travelling worldwide.

What’s Included in a Business Travel Insurance Plan? 

A corporate travel insurance plan usually covers treatment for acute illness and injury. Some cover highlights are:

  • Cover for single or multiple business trips up to 1 year;
  • Full coverage for hospitalization and outpatient treatment;
  • Flexible coverage: board members, spouses, children, guests with business connections or expatriate employees;
  • Free choice of public and private hospitals.
  • Optional coverage for an employee’s dependents and pleasure travel
  • Personal Accident Coverage
  • Medical Evacuation Cover
  • Trip cancellation benefits

Click HERE if you require an individual or group travel insurance plan that your or your firm can purchase online. If your organization requires group travel insurance for a single trip for 5 to 1000 individuals, please contact us for a custom quote, especially if you require an annual multi-trip plan for a number of employees. It is a great program for organizations in need of group travel medical coverage for a group of travelers who are traveling at the same time. Finally, should your employee be traveling to a high risk country, please contact us via email and we can approach our special risk underwriters for a plan that will cover passive war and terrorism.

Why you need international health insurance in Hong Kong

Located on the southeast coast of China, Hong Kong is known as a dynamic metropolis as Asia’s World City. Once was a fishing village, Hong Kong has become a cosmopolitan centre where Chinese culture blends with Western culture. Many expatriates are living and working in Hong Kong, but expats need to remember that medical care in the territory is very expensive, so it is crucial to obtain global medical insurance coverage.

Healthcare in Hong Kong

Hong Kong has a well-developed healthcare and medication system. There are 11 private hospitals and 42 public hospitals in Hong Kong, according to government statistics.  The public healthcare system can cover not only Hong Kong citizens or permanent residents, but also non-residents. Although expatriates with valid visa and HK identification card can be covered under public healthcare system, most expatriates are encouraged to obtain international health insurance in Hong Kong in order to get more comprehensive and global medical care without the long waits for treatment associated with government run medical system. Also, dental care is not covered under public healthcare system so many expats will want to seek insurance for this important benefit. Residents in Hong Kong are entitled to see a public dentist unless in an absolute emergency. Therefore, taking out an international health insurance plan is essential if wishing to receive treatment from a private dentist in Hong Kong.

It should also be noted that the private healthcare system Hong Kong is usually more accessible, with less waiting period to see a doctor compared to public hospitals. However, the cost of medical treatment in private medical facilities is usually higher. An appropriate international health insurance plan affords you the option of choosing doctors, standard routine check-ups, and a higher level of accommodation such as private rooms and more.

What to Consider When Purchasing International Health Insurance Before Departure 

As Hong Kong continues to attract more and more global talent, the demand of quality international health insurance for expats is continually growing. When considering international health insurance plans in Hong Kong, there are a number of things that you will want to consider:

  • Emergency Evacuation and Repatriation Coverage –  Emergency evacuation is a critical part of any expatriate’s medical coverage. It will ensure you have access to high quality medical facilities in the event of an medical emergency. If you are in an area that isn’t capable of providing adequate medical treatment, you will be transported to a location that is.
  • Pre-existing & Chronic Condition Coverage – Some international health insurance plans will cover some pre-existing conditions depending on your medical history. If you’d like to know more detailed information, please contact us today.
  • Maternity Coverage and Baby Care – Maternity care in private hospitals in Hong Kong can be very expensive. Making sure that you have comprehensive coverage for pregnancy care and baby care to avoid financial risks. Most plans have a 12 month waiting period before maternity related expenses will be covered.
  • Medical Network –  Does the medical provider have a large medical network where you and your family can obtain medical care by showing your insurer card and receive treatment without out-of-pocket costs.

Obtaining the Right Coverage of International Health Insurance While Residing in Hong Kong 

A tailored international health insurance plan should provide flexible and world-wide service. It will not only let you select the hospital, medical providers and doctors, but also provide you with direct payment so that you do not need to worry about any out-of-pocket medical expenses. Our most comprehensive and popular global expat plan is from Cigna International. You can get an instant quote and even apply online.

The cost of international health insurance will vary by plan. Expat Financial offers several different international health insurance plans for expatriates across most parts of the globe, including expats and even some local nationals in Hong Kong. We also offer international group insurance plans for employers with expatriate employees in Hong Kong. If you have questions about our international medical insurance plans or you wish to discuss your needs and produce a customized quote, please contact us or complete the quote form.

10 Great reasons to move to Panama for expats

Bordered by Costa Rica to the west, the Caribbean to the north, Panama is a popular location considered as one of the best destinations of relocation by many expatriates. In fact, the New York Times picked Panama NO.1 place to travel in 2012. In this article, we will give you suggestions on 10 great reasons to move to Panama.

1.Pleasant Weather

Panama has tropical weather, with breezes off the Pacific that makes the climate pleasant. The average temperature is 75 F in the mornings and 86 F in the afternoons. April to September is rainy season. There is no need to use heating system, so a great choice for those sick of the cold weather.

2.Tourist Attractions 

Panama is located at the geographical point between North America and South America. Expats and travelers will enjoy the modern buildings, the famous Panama Canal, Pearl Islands, San Blas Islands, a variety of water sports and activities. This is a country is a great location for adventure seeking expats and tourists. Most people travel there to visit the Panama Canal, which is oen of the world’s greatest feats of engineering. Many people like to take the partial or full crossing of the canal.

3.Low Cost of Living

It is widely agreed by expatriates retirees that the cost of living in Panama is much more affordable. The renting cost near the city’s main streets would be $700 – $900 US per month. Besides, all the inexpensive clothing, bedding and dinners attract more and more expats moving to Panama.

4.Least Language Barrier

There are many expatriates living in Panama. Though Spanish is the official language, English is considered as a second language in Panama. Most of the local residents can speak English fluently.

5.Political is Stable 

Panama has an open and stable political system. Due to a continuing economic growth, more and more foreigners are willing to invest in Panama, and this again promotes economic prosperity. The political and economic stability have made Panama a safe country to stay.

6.Clean Water

According to health expert, tap water is generally drinkable in Panama. However, most expats would want to start with bottled water and minimize amount of tap water. In general, the water in Panama has been reported to be clean, but it makes sense to check first.

7.Delicious Food

Generally speaking, Panama food has influenced by Spanish, American, Caribbean and indigenous. Except for traditional Panama dishes, American style meals are offered in many restaurants in town. Besides, there are a range of snacks, desserts and local beverages for you to choose from. Most expats will also be able to buy excellent food to make at home at the local stores.

8. Quality Medical Care

Medical care in Panama are generally of good quality. Both public hospitals and private clinics are available in Panama. However, medical services may vary greatly depending on where you go. The capital, Panama City has the best medical facilities and physicians. The doctors in Panama are usually well trained in the U.S., and speak English. Expats and tourists will want to obtain international health insurance during their stay in Panama, with emergency medical evacuation coverage, medical treatment in Panama and globally, as well as dental & vision care.

9.No Taxes on Overseas Income

Panama has a territorial tax system, which means that there is zero taxation policy of foreign income. This applies to Panama residents and companies. This policy attracts many foreigners to become a resident of Panama.

10.Expat Friendly 

Many expatriates will find that local residents of Panama are very friendly. Since Panama has been an international destination long ago, Panamanians accept foreigners and Americans. In addition, U.S. currency is the main currency being used in Panama.

If you are retiring or relocating in Panama, most expatriates will want to obtain an international health insurance plan that will cover medical treatment in Panama, but also globally. If you are an American, you will want to include cover for the United States or if you wish to be able to obtain medical treatment there. We often recommend that expats should make sure that their plan includes medical evacuation and repatriation coverageExpat Financial can source international health insurance for expatriates in Panama from large and respected international insurance companies. Please contact us today for a quote and to discuss your Panama expatriate  insurance requirements. Panama is an exciting and rewarding place to retire and work in. 

Hiring expatriate employees in China – Tips for foreign firms

As China has become the world’s fastest growing economy, many expatriates are willing to work in China. Playing a vital role in international trade, many provinces in China are developed and industrialized, especially in the coastal regions. Major cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Macau have attract many foreign capital investments and financial institutions. These cities have become major economic centers. There are more and more expatriates coming to China to work. However, most of the foreign employees are not quite familiar about their employment requirements in China. In this article, we will introduce expatriate employment, hiring expatriate employees in China and the importance of expatriate healthcare insurance.

Expatriate Employment In China 

Many foreign employers in China nowadays prefer candidates with overseas working experiences – this is not only because these companies intend to build gaps between language and culture of strategic cooperation with foreign investors in China, but also local Chinese firms seek to make investments overseas. In Shanghai, according to job hunting platform highpin.cn at present, high paid senior positions such as Group CEO in manufacture and internet field, salary range is between $150,685 and $226,027 USD per year. A Private Banking Wealth Senior Management position in Shanghai might expect a salary between $105,479 and $150,685 USD per year. A General Ledger Accountant in Guangzhou within a real estate group might  earn up to $256,164 USD per year depending on the experience and skills of the expat. A Product Manager in Beijing of fund and securities area are paid $54,246 USD yearly.

Many foreign job seekers are highly qualified and usually have related work experience. Therefore, local statistics showed that there is a significant demand for hiring experienced foreign professionals within both international companies and even local Chinese operations.

Expatriates who are bilingual, with experience of working both overseas and in China, are often considered for many top-level management positions. If an expatriate can reach a certain level of Mandarin Chinese – speak and read, then employers are tend to pay more than those without Chinese language skills.

Hiring Expatriate Employees In China

According to labor law in China, most foreign employers hiring expatriate employees need to make sure that the foreigner has a valid working permit, employment permission document, and lastly a residence permit. Please note that the employer needs to apply to local labor government authority for employment permission for the expatriate before hiring the expatriate employee. In order to obtain a residence permit, the expatriate employee should apply in person within 30 days to local Public Security Bureau after obtaining the employment permission and the working permit. It is wise to get professional advice from a tax or legal expert if you are going to be employing expats in China.

Expatriates with valid work permits can usually open local Chinese bank accounts.

International Health Insurance Is Critical For Expatriate Employees Working In China 

The cost of medical treatment at private medical facilities in China is quite expensive. Many foreign companies in China offer local healthcare packages to expatriate employees, which may include some healthcare benefits. However, these local plans are usually very basic and are not suitable for most expatriates who probably want to be covered internationally, not just in China. For example, local healthcare plan does not cover emergency evacuation and repatriation – expatriates will need it in the event of medical emergency.

The local healthcare plan does not provide medical coverage when expatriate employees traveling abroad or go back home. In fact, many companies require expatriate employees to work outside of China for a certain period of time. Without properly insured, you are putting your company’s financial and employees at risk. A plan that will provide excellent medical coverage for the expat employee and his or her family is vital and an international group insurance plan can provide better coverage and premiums for the employer versus having the employee purchase his or her own plan. A high quality group plan will also help expat employers retain and attract employees. 

If your employer does not provide a desired healthcare plan, you need to create a tailored expatriate health insurance plan that meets your requirements. A plan offers hospital coverage, outpatient treatment, emergency medical evacuation, as well as vision and dental care, cancer care, etc. An excellent international health insurance plan should help you maintain your physical, mental and financial health.

Get International Health Insurance From Expat Financial 

The cost of international group health insurance will vary by plan. Expat Financial offers several different international health insurance plans for expatriate employers and even individual expats who are not under an employer plan in China. We also offer excellent service before and after you purchase your international health insurance plan in China. If you have questions about our group or individual international medical insurance plans or you want to review your needs and produce a customized quote, please contact us or complete the quote form.