Group Insurance

International Schools

Health Insurance For International Schools

International schools in Asia are far more than businesses; they play a vital role in the expatriate community. If it were not for the presence of international schools, the number of expats in Asia would be vastly reduced – in fact there would hardly be a community at all.

For most families, the thought of sending their children away to boarding school in their home countries for long periods of the year is unacceptable in itself, let alone the cost involved in boarding school fees and flights. International schools help to create a successful expat system around the world.

Prof. Sonia Wandari S.pd SE MM

Rektor GP University

Group Insurance for International Schools

At Asia Health, most of us are expats ourselves and we appreciate international schools for the role they play. Our ties with many international schools in the region run deep; our children are educated in their classrooms and our consultants provide free financial education seminars for students and advice on education fee planning for parents. We have also developed highly successful professional partnerships with schools, advising and sourcing the best possible group benefit packages to provide protection and security for their staff.

Our experience of working with schools has taught us that an appealing benefits package can attract the best quality teachers and retain them for longer.

We also understand the need to find the right benefits at the best possible price. As a company, our pledge to schools includes sourcing and negotiating the right benefit solutions to meet the needs of each individual school. Whether a school is looking for group life insurance, staff medical cover or establishing a pension scheme, as an independent international broker, we have access to a vast array of internationally recognised providers and work hard to source the most cost effective solutions for every school we work with.

Once a school has chosen a package, we work closely with the provider, the school administration and teaching staff to ensure that the scheme is properly set up and everyone involved understands how it works.

Providing benefit packages for international schools can be complicated. Schools across Asia must take into account different national legislation and most employ overseas staff from multiple countries. At Asia Health, we are experienced in untangling the complexities and providing sensible, straightforward, flexible and portable solutions to suit the requirements of any school.

International schools that provide a good healthcare scheme give their staff the confidence that they will receive top quality medical care and this, in turn, helps attract and retain high calibre teachers. Within Asia healthcare can be expensive and often a good health insurance plan is the only practical way to provide staff access to quality medical care and still keep close control over costs.

However, for head teachers and school administrators without experience in group healthcare, the many choices and terms and conditions can seem bewildering. Asia Health has considerable experience in arranging health insurance plans for international schools across Asia and we hope the points discussed below will help clarify some of the available options.

The type of plan
There are two types of group health insurance plans applicable to international schools:

A community plan is normally best suited to smaller schools where less than 100 people are covered. The school’s plan is pooled with other similar group insurance issued by the same provider. This spreads the risk over a greater number of people and helps keep premiums down. Premiums for individuals within community plans are calculated on age and discounted according to the size of the group.

Experienced rated plans are suitable for larger schools and premiums are generally based on the history of claims in previous years. In most cases premiums for individuals within an experienced rated plan are flat rated – in other words the premium is the same for all members of the group.

Pre-existing medical conditions
The term for the cover of pre-existing conditions is Medical History Disregarded (MHD). This is an important aspect of group health insurance plans, as without MHD cover members of staff who have prior medical conditions will not receive benefits related to prior health problems. In the vast majority of cases international schools are able to obtain insurance with MHD terms.

Portability
This is the ability to transfer from the school group scheme to an individual policy. Most providers offer this option if teachers remain expatriates; however many also have certain restrictions as well.

Level of Cover and Upgrades
Some schools take the decision to limit staff health cover to the main essential benefits. However, individual members of the scheme may be interested in additional cover, for example dental or maternity cover. It is possible to arrange a two-tier system which provides a standard level of cover provided by the school and an upgrade to those teachers who are willing to pay extra for the extra benefits.

If a school only wants to offer a local plan then it is possible to introduce an optional upgrade that provides staff with an international in-patient only plan with higher benefits and limits than a local plan.

Emergency evacuation cover
The availability of emergency evacuation cover is a crucial difference between local and international group insurance plans. Many schools choose an international plan because it enables emergency cover to be given to members of staff and their dependants who may be travelling in remote areas. Evacuation cover provides the necessary emergency assistance to get them the required level of care.

Online outpatient claims
Choosing a policy with an online outpatient claims facility can significantly reduce the administration time for a school when it comes to claims processing.

Cost Containment
This is occasionally required for schools on experience rated plans where high claims experience may cause premiums to rise on an annual basis. Asia Health has experience in helping schools put cost containment measures in place without compromising essential cover.

When it comes to helping international schools finding the right health insurance plan for their staff, Asia Health has a wealth of experience. As a leading broker in Asia we maintain relationships with the major international insurers and as a wholly independent adviser we are not tied to any provider. We can therefore search the market to find and help you negotiate the best possible deal. We also offer a pre and post-sales backup service that is second-to-none in the region.

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Term Life Insurance

If you have been considering a life insurance policy then you will also have heard the phrase ‘term life’. This applies to a life insurance policy that simply gives a cash benefit in the event of your death or in the event you are diagnosed with a terminal illness. These plans are often designed to cover mortgage payments, death duties, outstanding bills, funeral costs and a financial buffer for those that have been left behind. It is important when buying a life insurance policy what your family will do when you are no longer here. What will they need to survive without worrying about their finances? If you are working and living abroad your health insurance policy may not give you the right cover to look after others when you have gone and your family may need funds to return to their home country.

Term life policies are normally available for anything between five years and 35 years. This will create the financial buffer zone what they need so that they can become financially independent again. You choose the length of the policy to suit your needs.

However, the difference with this type of policy is that it will only pay out if the policy holder passes away while they have the policy and there are not the same number of benefits. You can usually add on a terminal illness cover and this is normally worth the same as the term life insurance policy, so if you are diagnosed with a terminal illness you can claim immediately and get your finances in place so that your loved ones do not have to worry about this after you have gone.

When you choose a term life insurance policy, the team at Asia Health will explain to you that your premiums will remain the same for the length of the policy. This means that you can always budget for the payments without any concerns that you are suddenly going to be asked to pay out more.

For more information on whole life insurance or term life insurance all you have to do is contact the team at Asia Health. An insurance professional will explain everything that you need to know, including all the options that are available to you so you can make the right decision for you and your family. Getting a quote for your life insurance with Asia Health is easy – all you have to do is pick up the phone. We work with some of the leading insurance providers to make sure that there is a wide range of policies available for our customers and we can soon find the right one for you.

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