OUT-OF-COUNTRY MEDICAL AND HOME LEAVE: SENSITIVE CONSIDERATIONS
Αnnual home leave is a time to catch upwith family and friends, to share experiences from faraway lands and to load up on the your favorite breakfast cereal and candy bars that you can't get in the host country.
Often, the mindset of global mobility administrators and service providers is so focused on what not leave home without, that what to go home with during home leave can be overlooked.
The fundamental premise of global healthcare is about putting in place a portable out-of-country healthcare solution, and certain in-country care does not get due attention.
Home leave is also a time when many women, quite understandably, choose to schedule an important annual visit to their trusted and familiar OB/GYN.
The preoccupation with ensuring there is adequate coverage for serious illness and a comprehensive emergency response plan in place for crisis overseas tends to divert attention from this important aspects of proactive health management for women.
Like most men, I won't pretend to have the faintest clue about how women's brains work let alone how their bodies work, but I think it's a safe bet that the prospect of seeking out a medical practitioner specializing in the female reproductive system, unassisted in a strange environment and foreign culture is less than appealing.
So, all you mobility managers, benefits consultants, HR business partners, listen up:
When crafting a global healthcare policy, make every effort to include a coverage sublimit for routine medical checkups during home leave if only for the benefit of your female assignees and trailing spouses.
It's not guaranteed that you will find an amenable carrier. Group census data, budget, claims experience and other factors will determine whether this can be an integral part of a global healthcare program. However if and when sponsor organizations demand this consistently, the market will move closer to such coverage becoming a standard feature of competitive programs.
RMCs, DSPs and other industry vendors, this is for you. You may be on the receiving end of assignees with no coverage for customary periodic medical consultation during home leave. Be proactive:
Engage the services of one of many networks of credentialed practitioners who have been rigorously assessed and evaluated by independent auditors, and from the validated sample pool find one for whom you, a friend, colleague or client can provide a personal reference.