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Survey Report

Health and risk benefits design for internationally mobile employees

Highlights from the 2023 Internationally Mobile Employee Benefits Design Survey

August 23, 2023

International assignments are making a comeback. But organizations are faced with challenging decisions around the design and cost of global healthcare plans.
Health and Benefits|Benessere integrato|ESG and Sustainability|Inclusion-and-Diversity|Employee Financial Resilience

As economies around the world become more interdependent, internationally mobile employees (IMEs) play an increasingly critical role in supporting global business strategies. IMEs consist of both international assignees (expatriates) working outside their country of origin and international business travelers who travel outside of their home country.

A significant majority of multinational employers provide tailored employee benefits and related services to IMEs as a key element of a competitive benefit package. While some employers still rely on home and/or host country plans, offering truly global programs has numerous advantages. For instance, by providing more robust coverage and services that are tailored to support the health and wellbeing of internationally mobile employees and their family members, these plans can play a role in attracting and retaining this key talent.

Key findings from the survey

Rebound in global mobility

In the past 12 months, 73% of respondents saw an increase in expatriate population and 80% expect an increase in the next 12 months.

Allowing globally remote work

Nearly six in 10 respondents allow globally remote work on a voluntary basis (work from anywhere). Almost half allow trips of up to 30 days and less than 30% for longer periods of time.

Top five employer priorities in managing the healthcare and risk benefits for international assignees (expatriates) and their families

  1. 01

    Manage the rising costs of expatriate healthcare programs

  2. 02

    Benchmark current plan design(s)

  3. 03

    Conduct a gap analysis to determine if the plan(s) remain fit-for-purpose

  4. 04

    Implement or enhance related services for the health and safety of expatriates and their families, including but not limited to wellbeing, telehealth, EAPs, evacuation and travel assistance

  5. 05

    Address compliance concerns related to expatriate healthcare plan(s), based on employees’ home and host countries

Continuing focus on wellbeing of IMEs

Mental wellness is a critical benefit for international assignees, based on organizations’ corporate benefits and duty-of-care strategies (Figure 1).

Top benefits linked to duty-of-care priorities and corporate policy - details below

Top benefits linked to duty of care priorities

  • Mental wellness: 81%
  • Physical wellness: 81%
  • Medical evacuation and repatriation: 74%
  • Political, security, natural disaster evacuation and assistance services: 57%
  • Financial wellness e.g., life and disability insurance, retirement benefits: 51%
  • Crisis and disaster planning/management: 39%

Corporate policies impacting international mobility

  • Diversity, equity and inclusion: 78%
  • Corporate social responsibility: 64%
  • Environment and social corporate governance: 52%
Figure 1. Top benefits linked to duty-of-care priorities and corporate policy

The full report includes detailed findings of our 2023 IME Benefits Design Survey, and covers:

  • Top considerations when selecting a global international health plan (IHP) vendor
  • Risk benefits for international assignees
  • Benefits for business travelers
  • Evacuation and assistance services for IMEs
  • Regional highlights

Download the report for insights to support decisions related to the future design and structure of global health and risk benefits for a globally mobile workforce.

Meet our experts

Senior Director, Expatriate Benefits Solutions
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Director, Expatriate Benefits Solutions
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Director, Expatriate Benefits Solutions, Europe
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Senior Director, Integrated & Global Solutions, CEEMEA
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Head of Business Development, Health & Benefits, Asia & Australasia
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Director, Expatriate Benefits Solutions, France
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Senior Director, Integrated & Global Solutions, Asia Pacific
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Senior Director, Integrated & Global Solutions, Americas
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Director, Expatriate Benefits Solutions, Germany
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