Nowadays, a lot of business owners offer international health insurance as an employee perk. This comes with many benefits. Not only does it raise employee satisfaction, and consequently retention rates, but also it can lead to a healthier workforce and thus reduce absenteeism in the process. However, you will only experience these benefits if you choose a worldwide medical insurance plan with care. Below, we take a look at five of the most common mistakes executives make when choosing international health insurance, so that you can avoid them.
- Overlooking the waiting period – Firstly, one of the biggest mistakes made by executives is failing to take the waiting period into consideration, and consequently failing to communicate this with employees. This will lead to issues and errors. The waiting period is the number of consecutive days that all policyholders will need to wait before they are eligible for certain treatment. For example, when it comes to maternity care and all other pregnancy-related health care, most policies implement a ten-month waiting period. This is to make sure that people do not simply get pregnant and then take out an international health insurance plan afterwards to take advantage of all of the benefits. Details regarding the waiting period will be laid out on the insurance carrier paperwork. There may also be a waiting period with regards to how long new employees need to wait before they are eligible for health insurance in general, so make sure everyone is aware of this too. It is advisable to select a waiting period that coincides with how long it will typically take an employee to know if they are going to stick around.
- Not including your employees in the selection process – You should not overlook the opinions of your employees. Include them in your discussions about international health insurance coverage. This is important for two reasons. Firstly, you will get a better understanding of their insurance needs. Secondly, you can encourage them to take responsibility for their health care spending. Discussions like this are also positive in creating a healthier workforce, which will, of course, benefit you in the long run. You may think it is simply easier to choose a worldwide medical plan yourself. But what is the point in implementing this as an employee perk if you choose an insurance policy that is not suited to their needs?
- Failing to understand the eligibility requirements – Another common error is failing to understand the eligibility requirements of an international medical insurance policy before selecting it. Just because you have a group medical insurance plan for your firm does not mean that everyone will automatically be eligible. There are a number of different factors that will influence eligibility, including previous conditions and the number of hours the employee in question works. In regard to the latter, your own business policy, the insurance firm, and where you are located can all play a role in determining how many hours an employee needs to work in order to be eligible for international health insurance. You need to have a thorough understanding of eligibility requirements to make sure that issues do not arise later down the line.
- Untimely or incomplete paperwork – There is no denying that there is a bit of work involved when it comes to administering a group international health insurance plan. This is why you should always buy insurance from a reputable company like West Point Insurance Services. When it comes to good administration, one of the most daunting aspects is submitting paperwork in a timely manner. Whenever you make changes to coverage or employees are added or terminated, you will need to submit paperwork. However, there are two issues that often arise. Firstly, executives can take too long to submit the relevant paperwork. You definitely should not wait beyond the effective date of change. The best practice is to submit paperwork as soon as you know a change is going to occur, i.e., immediately. There are some carriers that will offer a period of grace for paperwork submission, but this is no guarantee, and thus you should not rely on it. Another common error is that employees do not sign the paperwork, or they did not fill it out entirely or correctly. It is the executive’s duty to make sure employees realize that when filling out their application they need to include all applicable information. It also needs to be entered correctly to ensure that there are not any complications during the processing of the applications. Moreover, all group administrators need to make certain that they are completely up to date on the insurance carrier paperwork.
- Scrimping on benefits _ Last but not least, it can be very tempting to scrimp yourself on benefits in order to save money. However, this is something you should re-consider. The likes of vision and dental benefits may seem unnecessary. But, when it comes to retaining the best talent and competing for new talent, extra coverage like this can make all of the difference. This does not mean you need to fully cover all forms of dental and vision health, but you could incorporate this in some manner. For example, employees could get their dental visits covered up to a set amount. This also links to the earlier part regarding including your employees in discussions regarding international health insurance. This proves extremely useful here, as you will be able to find out what type of benefits would be the most beneficial for them. You don’t want to select something that they will barely use or be interested in.
If you can avoid the five mistakes that have been mentioned above, you should find it a lot easier to choose the right group international health insurance plan for your business. Make sure you are fully aware of what the plan encompasses and who will be eligible, include your employees in discussions, especially those about benefits, and then keep on top of all paperwork to ensure that there are no further issues later down the line.