An Aetna International survey of expats living abroad found that 87 percent of expats polled believed that the employment benefits of family health care were important when considering an employment opportunity in abroad. A consideration that turned out to be a higher priority than the proposed financial package with 85% of expatriates emphasizing this as important rather than not, and the career prospects of the position with 83% of expatriates surveyed stating it as an important factor.

Research in several countries also found that access to quality health care was the biggest challenge. Almost one in three respondents (30%) made this statement, placing the challenge of accessing quality health care over that of finding suitable housing (23%), language barriers (22%), high cost of living (21%) and access to quality education (20%), when asked about their three main challenges in life as an expatriate.

International health coverage for dependents is essential

Forty-four percent of expats surveyed noted that when taking up a job abroad, they expect their employer’s health coverage to include their partner and, where applicable, their immediate family who is moving with them. them. 39% expect their employer to provide them with full health care coverage. Only eight percent said health care benefits were not something they had thought of and expected to rely entirely on the local health system.

Damian Lenihan, Executive Director of Europe at Aetna International, commented: “The pandemic has likely made people think more about the quality of healthcare they can access. Given the value placed on quality healthcare by expatriates, international employers may need to determine whether their healthcare policies meet expectations and remain competitive to attract top talent.

“Of course, moving to another country comes with many advantages and challenges, but it’s interesting that we potentially see healthcare as one of the main considerations for expats taking up opportunities abroad. Beyond, if not on a par, lifestyle and career prospects, ”adds Lenihan.

Research found that 70% of expats surveyed had concerns about accessing quality health care during the pandemic. Add to that a recent InterNations survey of expatriates * revealing that one in five potential expats do not feel safe moving abroad due to Covid-19, would suggest that employers may need to do more to reassure those who move. from abroad.