How does your company insure older expat employees?

How does your company insure older expat employees? 

Has your company looked into how it’s expat benefit plan covers your older expatriate employees? It’s a question worth asking. Expat employers are often relying upon older employees for expatriate positions that need to be filled by often senior level executives or specialized employees who’s skills require an employee with extensive experience that only an older employee can provide.  Many industries are faced with an aging workforce these days and struggle to find and retain the best employees possible. It is more likely with older expat employees that they may suffer from a pre-existing or chronic medical conditions. These more senior employees may also be highly paid and entitled to larger amounts of  life and disability coverage.

Older employees can be valuable expat employees

Often, the best person for the job posting overseas is an employee who is in their 60s or even 70s. This is quite common for the mining industry which often has to fill positions in engineering that require an employee who is most likely in their fifties or sixties. Unfortunately, some insurance plans that lesser experienced brokers have their clients with will not offer coverage for expat employees past age 60, 65 or 70 or severely limit the plan benefits. Also, some expat group insurance plans will exclude pre-existing medical conditions that are more often than not more common as you grow older.

What can you do to properly cover your older expat workforce? 

So what can be done if your current global benefit plan is not adequately covering or can’t cover your older expatriate employees? Well, it first makes sense to work with an expat insurance specialist firm such as Expat Financial, which is a division of TFG Global Insurance Solutions Ltd.. We are very experienced in working with clients from around the world which require a global health insurance plan for their group of expat employees or even just one person posted overseas.

Global medical coverage solutions for older expats employees

If you have a group of expats and you organization has over 30 employees globally, we may be able to source a plan that can usually cover the expat employees (minimum 2) without any medical questions and fully covering pre-existing medical conditions. The global medical insurance for some of these plans have no age limit, so we can still cover that 70 year old employee and dependent. We recommend global medical plans that will fully cover pre-existing and chronic medical conditions for both the employee and their dependents. Some HR managers think that they can reduce their risk by screening out expats with health issues with a medical exam before being hired, but this may not be legally acceptable with employment law, you may be excluding excellent employees with health issues and you won’t be able to fully screen out all conditions that would exclude an employee. Finally, the employee’s dependent might have a medical condition that you can’t screen for. Again, it makes sense for a group expat health plan to fully cover pre-existing medical conditions.

What about non-medical benefits for older expats?

For the Life/AD&D, the benefit levels usually reduce at age 69 and may terminate at 75 depending on the insurer. Long Term Disability will cease at age 65 or 70, but this is not usually an issue for most expat employers. For such pooled expat coverage, it makes sense to go with an insurance company that has a high non-evidence maximum, which is the amount of coverage that can be provided without medical evidence. Dental and evacuation coverage is not usually impacted by an expat’s age.

two businessmen and one businesswoman using laptop in front of modern office building, iStockalypse Berlin – Germany 2012

What if our company has only one expat employee? 

For individual expats, we do have access to a large number of global medical providers who can cover a single expatriate over age 70 for example, but the employee will be subject to medical underwriting and it is possible that he or she may be declined, a condition excluded or a premium increase required. As an international insurance brokerage, we have access to a wide array of insurance providers which we have worked with for many years who can underwrite many pre-existing conditions for individual expats.

So if you company is employing expatriate employees, especially expats who are over 50, you should contact us today to discuss how your existing global benefit plan is meeting their needs along with the premium rates that they are being charged. Our experience in sourcing and servicing a global workforce is quite impressive.