Often times, traveling for work is a necessary protocol for business. Whether it’s a short business trip for a weekend conference or an extended stay to start up new business ventures, you should ensure that your employees have the appropriate health coverage in case of an emergency.
The key to handling health coverage for employees who travel for work is knowing your policy. Ensure that you have read all of the details and make sure they are clearly outlined before your employee embarks on their trip.
There are several types of health coverage that can assist with emergency costs during business travel. The first and most basic type of medical expense coverage can be provided by a credit card. The second, and more reasonable, type is coverage through your existing workplace benefit program. Lastly, you can acquire individual or year-long trip insurance.
With each type of coverage, there are specific terms, conditions, limitations and exclusions of your business travel. Make sure that you thoroughly research your policy, understand it, and can properly relay the terms to your employee.
Here are some points to consider when choosing the right type of business travel health coverage:
- What exact expenses need to be covered?
- Are there any limitations based on length of stay, age, length of employment, etc.?
- Am I covered if I have a pre-existing condition?
- What are the terms for pregnant women?
- Is the coverage renewable from abroad?
- Does the insurance company have 24/7 emergency contact and/or translation services?
- Is hospitalization covered including up-front payments or other related medical costs?
One should also be sure to check any travel advisories for their destination. With some insurance companies, if a travel advisory has been issued, the company will not provide coverage for these areas.
Companies should be sure that employees undergo proper health screenings and any recommended vaccinations/treatments for traveling in certain areas. If they do have a pre-existing medical condition, discuss it with your insurance company so that you know your rights. Have them fully explain the terms and restrictions of a pre-existing medical condition and, if possible, have them provide a written agreement that your employee’s pre-existing medical condition will be covered.
Before receiving any medical treatment, contact your insurance company or employer. This way, you can ensure your medical coverage and obtain proper approval. After you receive treatment, make sure that you get a detailed report and/or invoice from your medical provider in which you received treatment from. These documents will need to be submitted upon your return home and it could be difficult acquiring these documents after you leave the country you traveled to.
Work travel can be rewarding, but it’s always best to have coverage in case an unforeseen circumstance arises. Handling health coverage for employees who travel for work can be simple as long as you and your employee know your policy in and out and follow all necessary procedures.
For information on providing coverage for your employees, contact our team today!