With remote work becoming the new normal, companies have had to rethink their approach to employee benefit plans. When your team spans the US or the globe, you’ll need to figure out how to best accommodate everyone, regardless of the state or country they’re located in.
This can be a challenge, but it’s worth the investment. Exploring your options and adjusting your offerings will make you more competitive as an employer on the job market so you can land those high-quality candidates.
Luckily, many health insurance companies — including Insured Nomads — offer affordable coverage for teams who collaborate remotely. We’ll break down some of your best choices below.
Option 1: International Health Insurance
International health insurance plans are a great option for companies whose members work outside of the country the company is based in. If you hire globally, a Global Health Insurance plan could be a great option to offer your employees.
This kind of insurance plan is good for work or leisure travel coverage for up to a year, and it can be renewed annually. Here are some of the perks that come with a Global Health Insurance plan through Insured Nomads:
- Inpatient care. This includes anything involving a patient staying one or more nights in the hospital, such as birthing a child, undergoing an organ transplant, or receiving routine chemotherapy treatment.
- Outpatient care. This is when a patient is treated and discharged on the same day for issues like a minor cough, stomach bug, fever, or migraine. Oftentimes doctors will prescribe an over-the-counter remedy that you can purchase at your local drugstore.
- Mental health services. Working far away from the rest of your team can be a lonely and mentally draining experience. Providing access to mental health services is a great way to show employees that you care about their wellbeing.
- Substance abuse support. Those who are in recovery from an addiction will have access to dedicated professionals in this field. Solitude can be a trigger for relapse, so we know this kind of support is vital.
- Other types of assistance. We also cover local ambulance transportation, necessary vaccinations, preventative health screenings, prescription drugs, and vision coverage.
- INC membership. An INC membership is an extra layer of protection that Insured Nomads offers for those who purchase travel insurance or Global Health Insurance plans. It’s available at no extra cost to you, and it provides access to traveler comforts like airport lounges, important health alerts relevant to your destination, local connections, emergency evacuation and relocation services, and even a panic button in the app.
If members of your remote team often travel out of the country for work, it could be worth it to look into an international health insurance plan. Every plan has different levels of coverage, so you’ll need to do plenty of research before making a decision. It’s a good idea to ask your team what they need as well.
Insured Nomads offers two Global Health Insurance options — Global Health Insurance Preferred and Global Health Insurance Preferred Plus. The preferred plan offers medical coverage with regional options outside of the United States. The preferred plus plan offers medical coverage worldwide, US included.
If your team members are remote but don’t travel often — or if they’re all based within your company’s city or state — this plan may not be very useful for you. If the majority of your team lives a nomadic lifestyle, though, one of our global plans could be a worthwhile investment.
Option 2: INC Community Membership
For groups of remote employees, Insured Nomads offers additional benefits through its INC membership mentioned above.
The INC membership is included at no extra cost with Global Health Insurance plans and group offerings.
Here’s some more information about what an INC membership can do for you and your team when used in addition to an already-purchased health plan.
Security for Personal Data
Members under this plan will have access to a personal virtual private network (VPN) to protect their data on public networks.
Connecting to unknown WI-FI networks while traveling for work can be dangerous. Hackers can gain access to confidential company information and download personal data from an employee’s work device, leading to consequential data leaks.
It’s very important to prioritize internet safety when traveling and working remotely, and a VPN is a great way to help safeguard confidential data.
The INC membership allows employees to access exclusive experiences like airport lounges while traveling. These lounges often provide high-quality meals for free, access to spa and massage services, a place to sleep, and even a place to shower. After arriving early for a flight, this is the perfect place for travelers to relax before heading to their destination.
A New Network of People
This membership also comes with the benefit of community connections. Working remotely can be lonely, so having access to a local network can be beneficial both mentally and emotionally for remote team members.
It’s also a great opportunity to learn about a new culture. The membership even connects people with local businesses that offer cool perks and fun experiences.
Of course, entering a connected community like the INC provides more than mental health and cultural benefits. The community also operates as a network, connecting members and allowing them to exchange innovative business ideas.
Counseling & Emergencies
Mental health counseling via telemedicine is also available under this plan. Not every health issue requires in-person treatment, so this is a great offering for those who want to limit their exposure to hospital settings during the ongoing pandemic.
These are just a few perks that come with this membership. An INC membership is an extra layer of protection, and it’s only available for those who already have an active Global Health Insurance plan through Insured Nomads. It is not an individual plan, so you cannot purchase it on its own.
If you want your team to benefit from the aforementioned perks (and more), you’ll need to purchase a global or standard travel plan.
Option 3: Source Local Suppliers
If your team is stationed all over the globe, you might seek out local insurance suppliers in each country. This may allow your team to have access to the quality coverage they need if they’re stationed abroad and in long-term residential situations.
If your team moves around often for a change of scenery, sourcing local suppliers might not be the best idea. It will be a lot of hassle to constantly have to switch insurance providers as people shift their lives around.
Not to mention, different employees won’t have access to the same healthcare options as each other. This might cause some employees to feel as if they are at a disadvantage.
Managing multiple types of insurance plans for different employees is quite complex and often stressful. If you’re considering seeking out local suppliers, make sure it’s right for your situation.
If your team is generally stationary and you want to outsource some of your workload, though, this could be a great option. Local suppliers can not only recommend the best options based on your situation, but they can also educate you on the different types of healthcare plans and which one will be most cost-effective for you.
Option 4: Medical Stipend or Reimbursement
An easier option for employers is to offer their team a medical stipend so they can research and purchase an insurance plan on their own. This makes things easier for you as an employer, and it provides employees with the freedom and flexibility to select the plan that feels like the best fit for their personal needs.
You can also offer the option of medical reimbursement for costs below a certain amount. However, that stipend or reimbursement might not be enough to cover someone’s essential medical costs, and they will still end up having to pay out-of-pocket. Medical care is quite expensive in many countries.
If this type of coverage isn’t sufficient for some people, they might find themselves in a situation where they are unable to receive proper care for themselves or their dependents in an urgent situation.
It’s definitely worth doing some research on the prices of medical coverage in the places your team members are based in. After you check out your options — and sit down with your team to discuss what they need from a comprehensive medical plan — you’ll be better equipped to make your decision.
Option 5: Consider an Employer of Record
An Employer of Record (EOR) is a third-party company that hires employees and handles their payroll, health benefits, and all other administrative tasks while the employee works for a separate company. The main benefit of having an Employer of Record is that companies can easily (and legally) work with people from across the globe without taking on unnecessary risks.
The EOR will not work with the team on a daily basis or act as a manager. Instead, their primary responsibility is to act as the “registered employer.” As a registered employer, your EOR can take on these responsibilities for your business:
- Ensuring employment contracts are legally compliant
- Ordering background checks
- Handling employment taxes
- Managing health benefits
- Payroll duties
- Employee onboarding
There are, however, some downsides to Employers of Record. If your company is just starting out and your team is quite small, an EOR can be a good fit. For larger or faster-growing teams, an Employer of Record could be a good idea as a temporary solution until you get more settled.
However, if your company is quite large and you’re looking to take your business to the next level in another country, you’ll likely benefit much more from sourcing a local supplier as we discussed above.
Research Every Option
Ultimately, the health insurance option you select is up to you. You’ll want to take the time to research and compare plans so you can make the best decision for your team. Consult with them, ask what they need the most, and do your best to provide them with the best health plan possible for their unique situations.
What You Miss by Not Offering Health Insurance
Picking health options is difficult, especially for remote teams. It could be very tempting to stop offering coverage altogether or pick the bare minimum plan to save money.
However, this isn’t wise. Having attractive health benefits makes your job postings more desirable to prospective candidates. We’re currently in a candidate’s job market, so offering comprehensive health benefits can make your company or business stand out to job applicants.
There are also a number of other benefits that you could be missing out on if you’re not offering health insurance to your remote workers, including:
- Tax Benefits
- Better Employee Morale
- More Candidate Options
- Increased Employee Retention
We’ll cover these advantages in more detail below.
If you offer health coverage, you could see a return on that investment when tax time comes around. For instance, as a nonprofit, you could qualify for a tax credit of up to 35%.
As a small business, you could qualify for a tax credit of up to 50% of the amount you pay on employee health policies. To qualify, you’ll need to have fewer than 25 full-time employees, pay out less than $51,600 on average for salaries, and cover at least 50% of each employee’s health plan.
Better Employee Morale
When people feel cared for and respected by their employer, they’ll likely be more productive. When employees have good healthcare benefits, they are less stressed overall. They will be able to address chronic health concerns more easily and effectively, and they’ll likely have more energy to put into their role.
Employees in roles that don’t offer any health benefits will be paying for care out-of-pocket, and they might not be able to afford it. Show your employees that you care about their health and wellbeing, and they will give you 100% in return.
More Candidate Options
Not only will your job postings attract more candidates with healthcare coverage, they’ll also attract better candidates than you ever thought you could. One of the top benefits that employees are looking for is healthcare — so if you’re not offering it, you’re missing out on a large portion of the market.
High-quality candidates want high-quality benefits, so if you want to attract top talent (and keep the great employees you already have), you’ll need to offer them something valuable.
To go above and beyond, consider offering health perks that other companies aren’t typically willing to offer. For instance, you might provide coverage for vision, dental, IVF, egg freezing, and more. These offerings will make you stand out on the job market.
Increased Employee Retention
For the same reasons that more high-quality candidates will be excited about your job postings, providing healthcare benefits will incentivize the employees you already have on payroll to stay. You want your existing employees to know you care, not only because they will work harder in return but also so that they continue to work for you in the first place.
Offering health insurance benefits is one of many ways to help in this area. Offering competitive healthcare options will improve your employees' feelings about the company, limiting the possibility of unnecessary employee turnover or poaching by your competitors.
Insured Nomads Has You Covered
At Insured Nomads, we want to make sure you and your team are taken care of no matter where in the world you decide to work from.
That’s why we have a variety of plans, from travel insurance and Global Health Insurance Plus to an INC membership and group offerings. No matter what you’re looking for, we have a plan that fits your needs.
Remember to do your research when it comes to health insurance options. Every remote team is different, so make sure you’re picking benefit options that fit the needs of your employees.
Want to learn more about our group insurance offerings and schedule a call to discuss your options? We’ll help you get the protection you need for your team.
About Insured Nomads
Insured Nomads is the first to take an integrated traveltech, fintech and insurtech solution to the world for remote workers, globally distributed teams, expats, and travelers. Their purpose is to make travel as safe and smart as staying at home. They do this by providing health insurance with exceptional medical benefits in tandem with wellbeing, safety, security, and advanced tech-enabled solutions for ease of payment for healthcare, emergency response and evacuation. Insured Nomads is available through affinity relationships, direct, embedded and through select brokers and partners for groups and individuals.
Information on integration, collaboration and partnership contact Brett Estep: email@example.com
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Understanding the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit | IRS
Employers Alter Benefits To Attract, Retain Employees | SHRM
The Pros and Cons To Consider When Deciding To Offer Health Care Benefits | SCORE
What Is an Employer of Record (EOR)? | ShieldGeo
What Is an Employer of Record (EOR)? Benefits and How It Works | Deel
What is an Employer of Record (EOR)? | Wrapbook
Understanding Health Insurance for Remote Workers | Andy Sto
The Expert Guide to Health Insurance for Remote Workers | NH Global Partners