Whenever a company has operations that cross a border things get exponentially more complicated. There are usually currency issues, legal issues, tax issues, compliance and regulatory issues as well as risks that are created when you cross a border.
For a middle market company that does not have dedicated resources to manage these in- house issues, it is important to have outside resources that are experienced in managing these exposures.
Just some basic questions that you should ask when your key people travel internationally that in our global society we rarely take the time to think about. We just jump on planes and GO!
- If I get sick and require medical attention or hospital care in another country what do I do?
- Do I have a contact phone # to call 24 hours a day? Is it an international access phone #?
- Does my Workers Compensation Insurance coverage apply or my Group Medical Insurance coverage apply?
- How do I pay for treatment and how do I get reimbursed?
- Do I need to pay with a credit card deposit in order to get admitted for care?
- Do I need to go to a specific hospital or doctor?
- Do I have all of the information that I need with me?
- What if something happens to either my spouse or family members who are traveling with me?
- When does emergency treatment coverage stop? Does a follow-up visit mean it is still considered an emergency?
- How do I get home if I am in a hospital that is located outside of my country and I would rather be in a hospital located at home? Who is responsible for paying for my costs to be medically evacuated?
- Who is responsible for paying for medical interpreters to interact with the medical personnel if I need them?
- Where can I find medical interpreters if I need them?
- What happens if I extend my business trip and do some sightseeing? Does my company’s responsibility for any medical emergencies change?
These are just a few really basic issues that with a little bit of forethought can help with eliminating a lot of potential confusion and pain. Think about the last time you were traveling internationally and something happened to you where you found yourself needing care. Are you prepared in the event something happens to you where you find yourself needing care? Do you have a plan in place? Do your employees know what to do in the event if something happens to them where they find themselves needing care? All of these thoughts ran through my mind when I fell down a flight of stairs in Melbourne in the middle of the night and I thought I tore my ACL. Fortunately I had a plan in place.
JKJ can help you with creating a plan for these basic issues and will take a look at your Medical Insurance and Workers Compensation Insurance policies. If you are from a different country we have experience in coordinating national and private programs to ensure that you have the right plans in place for when you travel internationally.
Author: John Wright, President, CPCU, CIC, JKJ&H