Survey shows costs of expat healthcare on the rise again

Published:  18 Jul at 6 PM
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Results of a recent study have shown that the cost of expat private health insurance-backed care jumped by 3.6 per cent in 2012.

The research on the cost of expat medical cover took in 16 countries spread across Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East and involved 500 organisations. Causes of the increase varied from country to country.

For example, British companies cited larger claims, with Spain, the UAE and Portugal citing an increasing number of expats needing to access private healthcare facilities. France was a special case, with its new law forcing employers to offer their staff private health insurance impacting on the cost factor.

The survey also revealed that private medical insurance was costing employers in general around 3.9 per cent of their payroll totals. US employers, however, pay a huge 13 per cent of their payrolls towards private health insurance.

Of the companies which took part in the survey, only 12 per cent felt they might cancel private health care as an employee benefit due to the costs involved. 17 per cent said they would cut benefits packages and 16 per cent would prefer that staff paid more towards the overall cost.

The survey also revealed that 40 per cent of companies operate an employee wellness programme in an attempt to keep costs at a reasonable level. Companies are caught between a rock and a hard place, juggling between cost control and the perceived attraction to new staff of their benefits packages.
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