Seventy-five per cent of expats are looking to continue living and working abroad despite the impact of Covid-19, a study by global health insurer Aetna International has found. And, unsurprisingly, confidence among expats was higher in countries where Covid-19- related death rates were lower.
Meanwhile, 88 per cent of expats surveyed in Singapore and 87 per cent in UAE felt the most confident about maintaining their expat status, however, the figure drops to 69 per cent of expats surveyed in Germany and 70 per cent in Mexico, countries where the impact of Covid-19 was much greater.
Demand for global health insurance will return
Aetna International conducted the study because it offers expats comprehensive insurance policies that provide access to health care providers across destinations worldwide. The results will, no doubt, prove useful to other global health insurers who can take heed from these findings and feel confident that the need for international health insurance will be as significant as ever.
“In what has been a difficult and uncertain time, confidence is key,.” Damian Lenihan, Executive Director of Europe at Aetna International said. “Especially for those planning and trying to build a life in another country.
“Whatever their motivations for moving abroad, expats play an important role for both local and global communities. Returning to some sort of ‘normality’ is what everyone is hoping for, but feeling safe with access to quality health care is paramount to this becoming a reality. Wherever we are in the world,” he added.
Despite the keenness for things to return to normal, 70 per cent of expats surveyed claimed that access to quality health care was a concern during the global pandemic, while the remaining 30 per cent had no concerns and felt confident about accessing quality health care in their host country.
“There have always been many factors for expats to consider,” Lenihan added. “The resultant restrictions and challenges of the pandemic have only complicated decision-making. In some cases, like the widespread border restrictions and closures related to Covid, expats may feel like they had no choice.
“Clear, informative communications are key to helping expat communities continue in their desire to live and work abroad. Authorities and employers need to provide reassurances that the health and wellbeing interests of expats and their families are being looked after. This will hopefully start to encourage existing and wannabe expats to resume their plans when the time is right, and it is safe to do so.”
The company has also partnered with Sanlam Pan Africa to ensure that international workers in 19 countries across Africa will have access to cost-effective healthcare.