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Expat Investor : December 2008
HEALTHCARE Continued from page 15 months media attention has focused on political unrest in many countries, where elections resulted in violence both during and after voting. Other than avoiding travel to areas of high risk, there is often nothing that an individual can do to prevent being caught up in such incidents. However, IPMI plans are now developing to provide support and peace of mind should such a situation arise. In 2008 InterGlobal entered into partnership with security experts red24 in order to provide 24/7 security services and solutions to ensure that insured persons are prepared for the unexpected. Partnerships with security experts not only protect insured persons when they unexpectedly find themselves at risk in a violent situation, they can also provide preventative and proactive advice to minimise exposure to such situations. They can provide up-to- date security information and advice on a particular country either online or via a security helpline as well as on-the-ground support, including security evacuation if required. Despite technological developments in the healthcare industry, with enhanced hospital facilities and medical treatment across the globe, the quality of healthcare delivery in certain countries remains poor. Emergency medical evacuation benefits are what makes an IPMI policy international, and there is now a need for a medical evacuation to be available for more than just life- threatening conditions. Increasing global mobility means that people are travelling to areas with inadequate medical facilities, and if an accident happens it is important for an evacuation benefit to cover non life-threatening accidents. Of course the occurrence of such incidents remains rare, but international health insurance plans will continue to evolve in order to offer peace of mind and protection to their clients, as well as access to professional private medical and assistance services wherever and whenever they are needed. Prevention not cure... ...with InterGlobal’s wellness benefits. Get routine health checks on our UltraCare Comprehensive and Plus plans without affecting your no claims discount. DAVID PRYOR, Managing Director. Medicare International ‘May you live in interesting times’, to paraphrase the Chinese proverb, and we are certainly living in interesting times as we watch financial markets in the Western World at least seem on the verge of collapse. Things may be very different by the time we reach the end of 2009, but one thing is for certain, the current downturn in the banking industry will impact upon businesses and the way we work all over the world. Unlike the recession in the early ’90s, business today has become increasingly global in its outlook. Jobs are no longer limited by Innovations in International Private Medical Insurance T +44 (0)1252 745900 W www.interglobalpmi.com International Private Healthcare Insurer of the Year | Private Healthcare News Awards 2007 Best International PMI Provider | Cover Excellence Awards 2007 InterGlobal is a trading name of InterGlobal Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority in the United Kingdom IGAD04/0308 Fast Facts 10008 16 EXPAT INVESTOR ? December 2008 national boundaries and people continue to go wherever they can find work or wherever their company posts them. The fluidity this working model brings has changed the way in which employers can and do take on staff, too. Companies are no longer obliged, nor is it necessarily in their interests, to take on employees on a long-term basis, and the idea of a career for expatinvestor.com life with one company certainly seems consigned to history for most of us. With the threat of recession now a reality in many countries, working patterns are likely to change. MediCare International, with over 25 years’ experience of supporting the global business executive worldwide, now expects to see salaried staff being laid off both here in the UK and in key markets such as the Far East, as companies react to the new economic realities. This time, however, these changes and adjustments should present opportunities for skilled UK staff looking for new challenges. David Pryor, Senior Executive, MediCare International, comments, “In the past, as unemployment has risen in the UK, so often this has been accompanied by a rise in expatriates seeking work abroad. This time around we expect that pattern to repeat itself, with small numbers of specialist contractors looking to fill skills gaps in the now dominant manufacturing and related service industries of the Far and Middle East.” This new working model will also impact upon the way in which healthcare policies are taken out. People will still need to travel overseas for work, but they may no longer have healthcare as part of their package of benefits, particularly if they are working as contractors. David Pryor continues, “With healthcare costs rising, it is vital that employees and contractors alike are properly insured, particularly those working in war reconstruction or mineral- rich territories which may be far away from large centres of population. MediCare International has reacted to this new reality and staff groups as small as three can now take advantage of our world-class healthcare insurance and secure significant premium discounts. This allows three, let’s say, IT contractors working together on a year-long project in Hong Kong to take out healthcare insurance together, giving considerable savings to the individuals but allowing them the same benefits as an individual policy.” In addition, Medicare International has reduced the number of people required within a group scheme needed in order to qualify for the important benefit of previous medical history being disregarded when premiums are calculated. Previously 20, the company now requires only ten people within the group in order for any medical histories of the individuals to be disregarded. This significant change will enable many people who were previously penalised due to a past or long-standing illness to enjoy the full benefits of Medicare International’s healthcare. Medicare International prides itself on its flexible approach to underwriting, particularly in the
January February 2009