Aging population impacting expat benefit plans

Nowadays, most of people are living longer at an ever-increasing rate. Due to the improvements in medical technology and other factors, there is a trend for people to stay employment while well past traditional retirement ages. How do aging population impact expat benefit plans? How these changes impact on companies and the group benefit plans? Let’s take a look at the graying of the workforce and the likely impact may bring for mobile employee benefit plans.

Aging population is now worldwide

According to scientific reports, life expectancy increases in the past ten years outstripped the increases in the preceding 20 years. Some reports showed that the Australians, Japanese and Swiss appear to be living the longest. Meanwhile, a survey from Zurich showed that the graying of senior executive at companies across Europe is well observed. 71% out of 480 people think these aging population will continue to increase in the next decade. Employers should be prepared by employing an aging workforce and seek for ways to adapt working patterns to suit older workers. We have found that mining companies often have an older expat workforce because the expertise required often means that only older employees can bring to the table the necessary experience and knowledge that is required for the overseas assignment.

Measuring the impact

Facing the challenges of the increasing aging workforce, the employers need to adjust the expat benefits packages offered to accommodate them. Out of all the benefits, international health insurance and group life insurance are at the top of the list affected. The inflation trend that we often see with expat health plans is between 9 and 13% per year. If you add an aging expat workforce to the mix, expat employers can often see large increases in premiums.

Employers are required to continue providing life and healthcare benefits for expat employees who are passing traditional retirement age. The cost of providing coverage for this older group may be high. On the other hand, because of pre-existing medical conditions and chronic illness, providing appropriate international healthcare coverage can be also a challenge for most of the insurance companies. As you would expect, an older expat workforce will have more medical issues and challenges, so obtaining an international health plan that disregards medical history is vital if you are setting up a group medical plan for your overseas employees.

Possible future trend of expat benefit plans

Expatriate employees will tend to be more affected by the changes of global aging workforce. Living and working overseas on assignments, expat employees are likely to be more dependent upon employer sponsored benefits plans. Therefore, providing quality private healthcare and expat benefit plans for this group is increasingly important.

A possible future solution for employers is to design benefits that are able to adapt to working patterns to meet the need of aging, skilled employees, while at the same time finding ways to maintain cost. Employers may want to look at ways to manage the rising cost of expat benefit plans by changing benefit design. Such changes might include adding a deductible or increasing the coinsurance for medical related expenses, such as prescription drugs. Unless your expat plan has more than 150 employees covered, your expat insurer will not release the detailed claims history as the number of employees is not large enough for your claims to be credible. For most expat plans, the claims experience will be fully pooled.

Get help from Expat Benefit Specialist

An expat benefit specialist can give you invaluable insight and support regarding your globally mobile employees’ benefit plans. Expat Financial offers several different international health insurance plans for expatriates across much of the world. We also offer excellent service before and after you purchase your international group insurance plan. As a division of TFG Global Insurance Solutions Ltd, we are very experienced in sourcing group plans for multinational firms with expats in most area of the world.  If you have questions about our international medical insurance plans for your expat employees or you want to discuss your needs and produce a customized quote, please contact us or complete the quote form