Sequoia Global Benefits advises clients and supports insurance policies that cover globally mobile employees. This category includes expatriates/Third Country Nationals as well as international business travelers.

In terms of expatriates/TCNs, the insurers provide generous coverage and a high level of service. Those insurers are also providing information and services around COVID-19.

International business travelers can be covered by:

  • A Business Travel Medical (BTM) policy (primarily out-of-country medical coverage which can include AD&D); and/or
  • A Business Travel Accident (BTA) policy (typically AD&D but can include out-of-country medical coverage).

Both types of policies can include protection for employees by paying for urgent and/or emergency medical needs while traveling internationally for work. This protects the employee by supplementing any domestic medical coverage which usually does not include coverage outside the home country. This protects the employee’s health and wallet.

These plans also protect employers from liability (actual or implied) while fulfilling their duty of care to protect their employees while they work.

The out-of-country medical coverage includes payment or reimbursement for urgent and emergency medical needs while an employee is traveling internationally for work. Here are some examples of actual claims:

BTM plans cover COVID-19 as any other illness: if an international business traveler has an urgent or emergency medical condition, the BTM plan will pay for treatment.

In addition to the coverage and service that these insurers provide on a day-to-day basis, they can be invaluable in uncertain times. A great example is the response to the everchanging COVID-19 situation.

Several of our preferred insurers have provided proactive information and have changed their offerings to provide upgraded service. For example, GeoBlue and Cigna have added complimentary telemedicine services to their BTM plans, which are usually reserved for expat plans.

Bicycle accident in Amsterdam
Cycling is a popular mode of transportation in the Netherlands. A CEO was on a business trip from the US to Amsterdam and he decided to participate in this popular way to commute. Unfortunately, he was hit by a car and ended up spending more than a week in the hospital, including several days in ICU. The travel medical coverage paid 100% of his care.

Prescription Medication
A client’s Singaporean employee was in the US for work. She felt sick and went to urgent care. The doctor she saw prescribed medication. The travel medical policy covered the cost of the appointment and the medication, and the employee was able to keep working.

Son’s Emergency Room Visit
A CEO was traveling internationally on company business, and his son accompanied him (the plan included dependent coverage). The child needed to go to the emergency room in Japan, and the plan paid 100% of the costs. The child ended up being fine, and his dad was able to focus on business.

These policies provide significant protection for employers and globally mobile employees, in terms of both financial protection and peace of mind. While we hope employees who have critical business travel during the COVID-19 outbreak remain healthy, these plans will help in the event symptoms are developed and treatment is needed while away from home.

Lauri Sklar – Lauri is a Global Advisor for Sequoia, where she works with clients to implement and manage benefits outside the US. Lauri also has expertise in coverage for globally mobile employees, including business travelers and expatriates.