30 May Why Stop at Asking for Medical Insurance? Get Goal-Oriented Health Plan
Health. That’s the one concern that global mobility managers, their assignees, and their executives can all agree. Its importance cannot be underestimated. The health of a staffer, regardless if they are full-time or contractual, can affect their morale and their performance.
Left unchecked, the negative effects can also cascade down the personnel line and influence adversely the behavior of other people. That’s why health insurance and other medical benefits are a premium in an assignee’s plan.
Before they even sign their contract and think of migrating to the United States, they ask their managers first if those benefits are or will be available to them. They would want their spouse and kids to have them, too, if these are about joining them during the duration of their contract.
The mere mention of health benefits would have the atypical globility manager checking out costs with their financial manager and/or accountant.
The practice has long been accepted in the industry. What these executives would want to find out are the costs involved, how they can justify same to their leaders, and the return on investments they can look forward to.
Still, the health concerns of the assignee do not start and end with medical insurance and other solutions that can supposedly help induce or strengthen wellness. It is important that the global mobility manager must likewise continue to monitor trends that can impact not just the costs they are wrestling with, but the physical, emotional, and relational well-being of their assignees.
The latest research by Deloitte gives us a few indicators:
The outcome-based health plans approach is getting traction in Europe, and might soon catch the attention of companies in the U.S., especially those that can afford them. While traditional medicine takes either preventive or responsive strategic routes, outcomes-based health plans are more goal-oriented.
First, they are not limited into considering simply the assignee’s current health status or the medical conditions they have or might develop. What they do is determine the assignee’s ultimate health objectives and come up with a plan on how they can achieve them. For example, it is not enough that the assignee avoid panic attacks or monitor the increase of his sugar levels due to stress.
They must also be fit enough to play a mean game of tennis every weekend, finish a marathon race during vacation time, and hike the nearest hill with their family — if those are the hobbies that the assignee wants to indulge in.
What makes the outcomes-based plan advantageous to the global mobility manager is that they can also be tweaked to make the assignee’s performance optimal. If the assignee’s job requires them to travel long distances or work on graveyard shifts several times in a month, then the outcomes-based plan can provide them a health regimen that can strengthen them for those tasks.
If the assignee’s role places them in a more solitary position or location, then an outcomes-based plan can arrest possible issues in anxiety, depression, and loneliness even before they occur.
More personalized engagement strategies
The global mobility manager and assignee will be collaborating to determine the best kind of medical or health plan that will fit the latter.
The assignee will be expected — and expect, in turn — to give their input on the program that can make them healthier, stronger, more resilient, and yes, more competitive in the workplace. The traditional cookie-cutter one-health-insurance-fits-them-all model is going the way of the flip phone.
And while the recommendations of the doctor and health provider will be given its due weight, the assignee will want to have a say on the kind of diet and exercise program that will be given them. The global mobility manager must be open to their suggestions, and weigh them with what the other partners are saying to come up with the most beneficial program for the assignee and the company.
Medical technology and readily available information
Tech is taking the medical world by storm, and millennial assignees who ride the wave will be the first to call their global mobility manager’s attention to the latest innovation.
Like what tech companies in Silicon Valley expect, tech gadgets like wearables and virtual medical devices will be commonplace as the smartphone. When costs go down and they become more affordable, tech-savvy assignee may just require them in their employment package.
On one hand, tech can make health packages more cost-effective. For example, digital healthcare apps can allow an assignee to virtually book an appointment with the doctor, check the results of their medical exam (which is already happening), and download documents, prescriptions, and other advisories.
Doing all these services and consultations online would go a long way in reducing costs in transportation, food allowances, and printing of documents, just to name a few.
Assurance of data protection and confidentiality
With the advent of tech comes data privacy. Any global mobility manager who wants to go high-tech in health should make sure that the medical data of their assignee should be well-protected. Every piece of information must be stored in their database, impervious to the attacks of hackers who would sell them to the highest bidder.
Assignees and all kinds of employees are sensitive to the treatment of their confidential information. They would want assurance that any data on their medical status, health conditions, medical insurance policies, credit card numbers, etc. will remain intact and impregnable.
Many of them just might ask for that assurance before they come on board. The global mobility manager must seek the active help of their IT managers to guarantee this request. Having the support from the highest levels of management can also make the digitization of the assignees’ health plans an ongoing and worthwhile investment.
Beyond that, ensuring the safety and privacy of all the information that is stored in the company’s servers will create a stronger organization in the long run. As the old proverb says, “Prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
Being proactive and smart about the new trends, though, just might double the value of the assignee and the company he serves.