Health insurance for foreign nationals

How to provide health insurance to foreign nationals.

Patient room in a doctor's office

Recruiting foreign nationals gives you more options than ever for the perfect candidate. While the process differs from hiring domestically, much of the training and management process is the same for international workers. This includes providing them with benefits. Below are the ins and outs of providing health insurance to foreign national employees. Understanding the process and what you can and can’t do will save you both time and money. 

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Rules around offering health insurance to foreign nationals in the U.S.

As an employer in the United States, you have the opportunity to hire foreign nationals who are legally working in the U.S. Before you hire a full- or part-time foreign national, you must become familiar with the rules around offering health insurance and other benefits.

Most importantly, health insurance coverage is mandatory for all foreigners who travel to the United States. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to provide coverage, as your job candidate should already have a policy. 

However, if you’re hiring a foreign national as an employee and you already provide health insurance benefits to current workers, you’re required to do the same with them. 

Make a note of the type of visa that a candidate has. For example, international students in the F, J, M, and Q visa categories are not subject to the individual mandate—as outlined by the Affordable Care Act (ACA)—for the first five years of their stay in the United States. Some visa categories require students and any dependents to have insurance as part of the qualification criteria, but not all categories do. Students in these categories typically adhere to their school’s individual guidelines and obtain either a university policy or a state marketplace policy.

Upon graduation, a foreign national student’s insurance options will depend on their employment status and the type of insurance they had as a student.

Rules around offering health insurance to foreign nationals outside the U.S.

When hiring a foreign national living in the United States, you only have to contend with one set of rules. But when offering health insurance to foreign nationals outside the U.S., the regulations of each country come into play. For example, remote work regulations in France will differ from those in Australia. 

There are a variety of free tools you can use to address the most common issues regarding providing health insurance to international workers. 

The main point to remember is that there’s no one-size-fits-all set of rules around offering health benefits to foreign nationals outside the United States. The path you follow is based on the rules and regulations of the country your employee lives in. For example, some countries provide all citizens with free health care, which could affect your obligations as an employer. 

Where to find health insurance for foreign nationals

You may not know everything at this point, but you can probably answer the million-dollar question: Do you need to provide health insurance to a foreign national you want to hire?

With the help of Oyster Health, you can provide health insurance coverage to team members in nearly 200 countries. This gives you the confidence to get serious about international hiring. You never again have to worry that you won’t be able to provide health benefits to a new hire. 

Wondering how it works? At Oyster, we work directly with health insurance companies to help employers access plans that are generally only available in the large group market. Not only can you purchase high-quality coverage for your employees, but you can also do it at a more affordable price.

Other features include:

  • Deductible-free options for all Oyster health plans
  • The option to add dental and/or vision insurance
  • Access to international health care (any hospital, anywhere)

These features, among others, will help you attract and retain the world’s top talent. But that’s not all. Our global employment platform is designed to assist you in other areas, too. These include but are not limited to hiring, paying, managing, and developing your distributed workforce. 

Our goal is simple: to streamline the process of hiring workers anywhere in the world. Achieving this goal saves your organization time and money while reducing the stress of running your business.

About Oyster

Oyster is a global employment platform designed to enable visionary HR leaders to find, hire, pay, manage, develop, and take care of a thriving distributed workforce. Oyster lets growing companies give valued international team members the experience they deserve, without the usual headaches and expense.

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