Most common health benefits offered to expats

Private medical insurance (PMI) (33%) is the most common healthcare benefit offered to expatriate staff, according to research by Employee Benefits.

The Employee Benefits Healthcare research 2013, which surveyed 376 HR and benefits professionals, found that other commonly offered healthcare benefits for international employees include life assurance/death in service (28%), PMI for employees’ dependants (27%) and employee assistance programmes (22%).

The 2013 survey structured the question about expatriate benefits differently to previous years to look at the overall use of expatriate healthcare benefits across the entire sample of respondents (see top table below).

Our comparator graph for 2010, 2011 and 2012 (see bottom graph below) shows expatriate healthcare benefits used solely for organisations with functions outside the UK, hence the difference in data.

What is clear across both graphs is that private medical insurance (PMI) is the primary benefit for expatriates. This is no surprise, given that many countries do not have the equivalent of the UK’s National Health Service.

Also, if expatriates are posted to countries that do not offer the level of medical services they are used to in their home countries, expatriate PMI will enable them to seek services in other countries or return to the UK to access medical care.