International employee benefits are a constantly changing, dynamic aspect of any global organization. With the continuation of globalization in the US economy, companies will continue to increase interest and usage of international employee benefit plans. Employers are now taking a centralized approach to their global benefits strategy.
According to Alexander Bender (a client relations manager at Allianz Worldwide care) “The logic of only covering people within their home country no longer makes sense, people are essentially mobile.” A recent study conducted by Towers Watson, suggests that 78 percent of multinational organizations operate a global benefits framework. This is a quick rise from the 44 percent in 2004. These statistics suggest that it is important to understand each country’s competitive practices, and understand their individual benefit practices. Employees and employers need to learn about employee benefits challenges that can be created when employees are traveling or relocation across borders.
These challenges include:
• Coordinating various health insurance issues
• Communicating and making sure all employees are aware of their health insurance needs
• Understanding how to incorporate various resources such as medical interpreters to cope with cultural differences
As a student at Penn State, I recently took an online class which focused on International Employee Benefits. The most interesting aspect of this class was working with my teacher who is an expatriate and now lives in Denmark. One of the main points that she emphasized throughout this class is how different healthcare is around the world. It is extremely important that future business men and women understand the difference of healthcare across the globe.
Resource: International Foundation of Employee Benefits Plans (https://www.ifebp.org/Pages/default.aspx)