Is Your Employee Benefits Package Good Enough?
Posted by Dannielle Noonan
If your employer provides you with an international health insurance plan as part of your rewards and benefits package, you may assume you will be adequately covered if you were to need medical treatment anywhere in the world.
However, a recent YouGov poll revealed that company health plans for international assignees often fall short of working expats’ expectations. According to the study’s findings, almost one third of expats complain that their company’s health package does not cover all of their medical costs overseas.
This is especially relevant to those expats living in the UAE, who are frequently let down by their employee insurance. This is concerning because lack of income tax in the emirates means that expats in the UAE don’t benefit from free healthcare.
This means that even if your employer does provide you with an international health insurance plan, you could still encounter high medical bills. Many employee plans only cover ‘emergency’ treatment – but it’s worth remembering that routine medical costs can add up.
If you assume your employee health insurance covers you in your expat country, you could face being denied medical treatment or be forced to fly home to receive medical attention.
While employers, particularly in the UAE and neighbouring countries, have a responsibility to meet legislation, they may not have the best plan for you. Some may meet the country’s legislation but not the individual needs of the employee because they tend to take a ‘one size fits all’ approach.
New laws are being brought into effect in countries like Dubai to solve these issues, but wherever you are in the world, you should take steps to ensure your health is fully covered.
Questions you should ask your employer about your international health insurance plan:
- Are pre-existing conditions covered?
- To what extent will I be insured for medical treatment?
- Do I have cover for dental treatment?
- Am I covered for optical care?
- What about pregnancy and childbirth?
- Will my family be covered?
- What if I want to go back to my own country for medical treatment – who pays?