Are you a global company? Do you work with global companies? We thought that it would be beneficial to write a blog on global benefits. Starting with part 1, national differences. Designing global benefits packages presents significant challenges for multinationals. Healthcare in particular is difficult to manage. Some of the key challenges in this area are the management of national differences, working within the company’s organizational structure, and adapting to shifting regulatory environments. Inevitably, there will be differences from country to country with regards to any type of benefit, but the differences are more striking with regards to health care.
For example, benefits such as life insurance, dental coverage and vision coverage are almost identical in their structure and administration between the United States and Canada, yet health care coverage is completely different. One country relies on the insurance system to cover health care costs; the other has a system that is mostly socialized. Even within these two broad systems – public and private – the degree of coverage can vary significantly. Many developing countries lack socialized health care, but they also lack the sophisticated insurance and hospital system that the United States has. The provision of adequate health care in these countries therefore presents unique problems. Within public systems, the degree of coverage can vary as well. Many European countries offer a wider range of coverage to their citizens that Canada, which is gradually moving many components of its health care system to the private sector.
Thus we can see that the challenges are different in different countries. Most developing countries have at least one Western‐caliber hospital, so executives can be covered, but extending health care benefits to the rank and file can result in availability problems. In the United States, availability is not the problem, but cost is. In Canada and Europe, there is little problem with availability. This poses problems in itself, for the multinational seeking to offer the same coverage to employees around the world. Delivering health care equivalent to that in socialized systems is costly.
The most important part of global benefits is understanding the different approaches that are taken in each country. If you are a global business or work with global businesses there are many resources you can use to understand the differences, your employee benefit consultant is always available to help you take the correct approach for your global benefits.
Tags: Benefits Administration, benefits administrator, Benefits Outsourcing, california health plan, employee benefit consultant, employee benefit consultants, employee benefit consulting, Employee Benefits San Francisco, health insurance san jose, hr benefits outsourcing