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waist up portrait of bearded entrepreneurs analyzing risks and benefits of project inv SBI 324033829

Freedom to choose: 9 in 10 expats want more say on benefits package inclusions, with over half keen to see more well-being elements

Aetna International has found that 88% of expats in key global markets want the choice to pick their employer health care package inclusions based on their own lifestyles and health concerns, suggesting a desire for greater personalisation

With proactive self-care now a central part of expat lifestyles, those surveyed noted a desire for more holistic benefits that supported both their well-being, mental and physical needs, alongside clinician-directed treatments. Over half (52%) stated that having tailored benefits featuring well-being elements was more important now than pre-pandemic.  

This demonstrates a desire for greater flexibility and choice. Allowing individuals to select the well-being benefits that suit their needs and lifestyle signals a move towards a more holistic approach to healthcare. The interest in having a greater choice of well-being benefits on offer as part of an employer health care package further suggests a growing desire from both employer and employee to break down workplace taboos around managing stress and create an open forum of discussion around employee mental health.  

Furthermore, Aetna’s latest survey revealed that a quarter (25%) of expats thought counselling and therapy sessions should be included in packages. Overall, this was the largest endorsement for any well-being offer which respondents were surveyed on.  

Of the markets surveyed, counselling and therapy topped the inclusions list in the USA and Singapore, ranked second in the UK and UAE, and fourth in Hong Kong. These findings underline a growing global recognition of the importance of mental health.  

Fitness sessions and apps, life coaching and yoga and meditation sessions round out the top* inclusions respondents were keen on. Mindfulness app subscriptions followed closely at six on the list, overall demonstrating an appetite for a more well-integrated healthy lifestyle offer. 

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“People are becoming more aware of all areas of their health. They are understanding that a healthy lifestyle amounts to more than just exercising and eating well, and that each person is different. Mental health is clearly growing in focus and more people are learning about how to manage it. There are plenty of tools available to help an individual with everything from mindfulness and sleep to calming and alleviating stress. We’re also observing that convenient access to these tools included as part of an employer’s benefits offer appears to be a growing priority for busy expats,” said Dr Hemal Desai, Global Medical Director, Aetna International. 

Interestingly, 40% of expats surveyed ranked a health care benefits package as the most important job offer consideration, compared to 52% who stated salary. Though it’s unsurprising that salary wins out, the gap between health and wealth is narrower than might have been expected.  

Aetna International offers expats comprehensive insurance policies that can guarantee individuals access to quality health care providers across destinations worldwide 

Aetna International provides its members with practical advice for moving abroad, as well as access to mental health and wellbeing resources such as therapeutic counselling and mindfulness-based stress reduction services through their members Health Hub.  

Aetna International also offers its members access to Five For Me, which includes bite-sized member health and well-being tips; Wysa, an AI-guided mental well-being app developed by leading clinicians; the 24/7 Employee Assistance Program; and vHealth, a free telemedicine service that provides easy access to experienced doctors by telephone or video call. 

To see the full findings of this survey and to find out more on personalisation of employee benefits, head to:  

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