International insurance for travelers, expatriates, and organizations worldwide
GNI “International GROUP Health Insurance” / Quarterly E-Bulletin – OCTOBER – NOVEMBER – DECEMBER, 2010
01. NGO’S CAN CUT THEIR INTERNATIONAL GROUP HEALTH RATES
02. GROUP INSURANCE WITHOUT A PARTICIPATION RATIO
03. QUESTIONS TO ASK WHEN PURCHASING INTERNATIONAL GROUP HEALTH INSURANCE
04. HOW TO START GROUP HEALTH INSURANCE WHEN NO ONE IN YOUR NGO WANTS TO ENROLL
05. HOW “OBAMACARE” AFFECTS INTERNATIONAL GROUP HEALTH INSURANCE
06. LOWERING GROUP PREMIUMS THROUGH HIGH DEDUCTIBLES
07. RESOURCES FOR GROUP HEALTH INSURANCE
08. INERNATIONAL PROPERTY AND CASUALTY COVERAGE
1. NGO’S CAN CUT GROUP HEALTH INSURANCE COSTS
I wish I could say we can always help NGOs and companies save significantly on group health insurance. That is not so. But often we have some real victories. We were recently able to decrease/cut family rates for one NGO by $327 per month, couple rates by $246 per month, and single rates by $122 per month–without changing any benefits on the plan. We were able to help another small NGO save similar amounts.
Generally, we are able to help generate savings of around 20 percent on present international group health insurance. If you want us to do some research for you, please contact us at your earliest convenience.
TWEET-ABLE: NGOs can cut their international group health insurance rates. [Tweet This]
2. GROUP INSURANCE WITHOUT A PARTICIPATION RATIO
One of the major frustrations in setting up group insurance for an NGO is to get all the employees on board. If workers are raising their own funds, they sometimes have low support and/or have no desire to buy into group health insurance. All international insurance companies demand 75-80 percent participation before they will provide a group health insurance quote. Getting that kind of participation, especially in a large NGO, is very difficult.
We are now working with a very reputable international health insurance company that will provide quotes without demanding a participation ratio. The one stipulation is that the NGOs have a combinedtotal of at least 50 employees working in the USA and overseas. Third Country Nationals and local employees can also be counted.
If you are an NGO that has over 50 total employees, with two units or more that would like to be on a group insurance plan, please let us know. We will be glad to pursue a quote for you.
TWEET-ABLE – Overseas group health insurance. No 80% participation ratio. [Tweet This]
3. QUESTIONS TO ASK WHEN PURCHASING INTERNATIONAL GROUP HEALTH INSURANCE
Obviously there are a lot of questions to ask; but when purchasing group health insurance, below are some special questions you need to ask:
(1) Can the company insure people in OFAC countries (countries with which the USA forbids an American company to do business)?
(2) Do they offer term life insurance with their group health insurance? (If term life is not offered, it may be difficult for your workers to get individual term life coverage.)
(3) What is the average wait-time on handling claims? Is there an automated system set up so that an international worker can access the status of his claims?
(4) Is the company a “surplus lines carrier,” or is it an “admitted” carrier? Only “admitted” carriers can provide long-term health insurance in the USA.
(5) Does the company put riders on pre-existing conditions and/or exclude individuals from joining the group coverage? Some surplus lines carriers work like this.
(6) Are the offices and insurance personnel I will be dealing with located in the USA? Some international carriers service their insurance clients from offices outside the USA.
TWEET-ABLE:Some key questions when purchasing international group health insurance. [Tweet This]
4. HOW TO START GROUP HEALTH COVERAGE WHEN NO ONE WANTS TO ENROLL
Your NGO started on a shoestring, and no one thought of international medical insurance. Or if they did, they got an individual policy. Now it is ten years old and has 40 workers. You now want to purchase group health insurance; however, most of your international workers are not interested. What can you do?
Here is one solution: You can set up group health insurance for all new international workers within your organization. Make a board decision that all new workers will be required to enroll in your new overseas group health plan after January 1, 2012 (for an example). Hold up new workers until you have two units (hopefully, healthy ones) ready to go overseas on that date. Then get a group health insurance quote for these two workers. You will need a special name for this group, something like Loving Children 2012 and Beyond (assuming the name of your mission is “Loving Children”). For insurance purposes only, “Loving Children 2012 and Beyond” will be a sub-group within your NGO.
If it is in your board minutes, every new worker going overseas will be required to enroll in the group insurance.
Other workers in your NGO will not be able to enroll in this insurance, thus the rates will be kept low. Once the group is set up and functioning, all new enrollees (in spite of pre-existing condition) will be able to get coverage in the group plan.
TWEET-ABLE:Starting an international group health insurance plan in your NGO when no one wants to. [Tweet This]
5. HOW “OBAMACARE” AFFECTS INTERNATIONAL GROUP HEALTH INSURANCE
Insurance companies have teams of attorneys still trying to understand what is and what is not required under the new U.S. insurance laws. On some matters companies are coming to different conclusions. The law is not specifically written for international group health insurance. Therefore some companies are appealing for changes. The key to determining how insurance companies will respond is based on whether they are a “surplus lines company” or an “admitted” carrier.
Surplus Lines Carriers: They are U.S.-owned “off-shore” companies; therefore, they do not have to follow American insurance laws to the letter. In many ways they will continue to function as they do now, and generally will not be affected by Obamacare.
Admitted Carriers: They will have to follow every new demand of the insurance law. As a result, their rates will go up, and they will have a hard time competing with the “surplus lines carriers.”
Non-U.S. Carriers: Carriers that are based outside the U.S. and are not underwritten by U.S. insurance companies will continue to function as they do now. Their rates will be very competitive.
TWEET-ABLE:How does Obamacare affect international group health insurance? [Tweet This]
6. LOWERING GROUP PREMIUMS VIA HIGH DEDUCTIBLES
Some NGOs are moving up to $10,000 deductibles or higher to cut the monthly premium for their field staff. Obviously, a $10,000 deductible will be difficult for any field worker to meet.
To assist their field workers, the NGOs are establishing an “Emergency Medical Fund.” Some set an in-house deductible at $500 or $1,000, etc., for each worker. When their overseas worker reaches that deductible, the “Emergency Medical Fund” kicks in and provides help until the insured reaches the $10,000 deductible.
Of course you need some reserves in order to do this! Yet it is one way to get some control on the premiums that overseas workers are paying. It certainly is one way to lift their burden.
TWEET-ABLE:How international NGOs lower monthly health insurance costs with a $10k deductible. [Tweet This]
7. RESOURCES FOR GROUP HEALTH INSURANCE
We have produced Quarterly E-Bulletins like this one for many years. We are archiving all unique articles on our website at href=”http://lyris.eresources.com:81/t/5291053/6121865/1619/0/”>https://www.gninsurance.com/group/. This “Landing Page” is completely dedicated to group insurance matters. There is a section set aside for “Tips to Understanding Group Health Insurance.” Another section deals with “Steps to Group Insurance.” In fact, the forms you will need to fill out for a group health insurance quote are also on this website. If you have any suggestions for making the site more user-friendly, please let us know.