By Rita Pyrillis
Feb. 3, 2016
More than three-fourths of expatriates and their families access medical care while on overseas assignments, according to the report, which surveyed 2,700 people working in 156 countries.
Overseas employees were almost equally concerned with having access to emergency medical evacuation and seeing a quick turnaround on reimbursements for out-of-pocket expenses, according to the survey.
“Emergency evacuation is an indicator of confidence in accessing health care locally,” said Cotterill, a former expatriate who completed a six-year stint in the Middle East in 2013. “Employees want to know, ‘If we can’t access quality care locally, we want you to help us evacuate to the nearest center of excellence.’ It’s a fail-safe.”
During her time in the Middle East, she noted that employees had to be sent to Austria or Germany for certain scans that weren’t available in their host countries.
Offering expatriates competitive and comprehensive benefits packages is critical in keeping turnover rates low, according to Cotterill.
“Medical costs represent on average 4 percent of a total assignment cost over a three-year period, so providing competitive health benefits that eradicate concerns around access and quality is much less costly than having to reassign someone,” she said.
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