The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown a wrench into the idyllic vision of expat execs living abroad. Suddenly, expats find themselves grappling with mental health issues and struggling to access healthcare in countries where the system is already strained. And it’s not just a minor inconvenience, it’s a major challenge that requires urgent attention.
Enter Cigna, with their recent data highlighting the unique challenges that expats face during the pandemic. With a 30% increase in mental health claims from expats, it’s clear that this is an issue that needs to be addressed head-on. Employers have a responsibility to provide support and resources for their expat employees, to help them manage their mental health during these trying times.
But it’s not just mental health that’s at stake. Access to healthcare is also a major concern for expats, particularly in countries where the healthcare system is already overburdened. Employers can help address this issue by providing expats with access to quality healthcare, including telemedicine options, and by offering support to navigate the local healthcare system.
And let’s not forget the importance of health insurance. Cigna’s data shows that many expats were caught off guard by the pandemic and did not have adequate health insurance coverage. This has made it harder for them to access healthcare and has also led to financial stress. Employers can help mitigate this risk by providing comprehensive health insurance coverage for their expat employees, including coverage for COVID-19 related care.
So, what’s the takeaway here? Expats are a unique group, facing unique challenges in the midst of a global pandemic. But with the right support and resources, they can not only survive, but thrive. Employers have a critical role to play in providing that support, whether it’s through mental health resources, access to quality healthcare, or comprehensive health insurance coverage. By doing so, they can help ensure that their expat employees are able to weather the storm and come out stronger on the other side.