Beef Up Group Life With Travel Assistance Benefits
One way for your group life clients to touch even more employees with their benefit plans is to add emergency travel assistance benefits to their group life programs.
In 1959, two Frenchmen came up with the idea of an emergency travel assistance program after one broke a leg while traveling in Spain. The travelers realized they neither spoke the language nor knew where to receive adequate medical care. Obtaining help for the injury was difficult and stressful. When the travelers got back to France, they created a program that would come to the aid of travelers. The plans gradually took off in Europe, and they arrived in America in the 1980s.
Today, an emergency travel assistance program is a valuable benefit for employees who face unexpected problems while traveling 100 miles or more from home, domestically or internationally.
Many companies dont know where to start when it comes to helping traveling employees with their emergency personal or medical needs. Health plans may reimburse traveling employees for covered medical care, but they may not be in a position to effectively coordinate logistics to ensure appropriate medical care is provided. Also, there may be some services that can be very hard to arrange, like medical evacuation, repatriation and return of mortal remains. Navigating an unfamiliar health care system also can be daunting, particularly if there is a language barrier because of travel in a foreign country. Also, often travelers are unaware of where the nearest medical facilities are and whether those facilities can provide the breadth of care they may need.
Since statistics show that more than two-thirds of Americans traveled in 2003, maximizing the number of employees that an emergency travel assistance program covers by attaching it to a group life plan is a great perk.
Because some employees opt out of participating in disability plans and other benefit plans, or those benefit plans are not offered to certain employees, the best way to increase the number of employees who have emergency travel assistance is to add it to a basic group life plan.
Separating The Good And The Mediocre
While some plans may have similarities, not all emergency travel assistance plans are created equal. You have to read the fine print.