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iPMI Magazine provides premium and freemium content delivery solutions specifically tailored to the international private medical insurance market.

Using the latest technology, iPMI Magazine delivers critical iPMI business communications to an eclectic worldwide readership, from international medical payor to global service provider. 

iPMI Magzine News classifications include:

Write to ipmi[at]ipmimagazine.com to learn more, or to submit content. 

About iPMI Magazine

Due to the nomadic nature of the international private medical insurance (IPMI) industry, iPMI Magazine is an internet based news service for worldwide insurance and assistance professionals who need to understand the impacts of insurance and healthcare policy, regulatory, and legislative developments.

Over 40,000 senior level business decision makers, in over 120 countries, rely on iPMI Magazine to stay 1 step ahead of the risk and on the inside track of international PMI. Covering business travellers, high net worth individuals, expatriate and leisure travel markets, iPMI Magazine is the only international news source covering the most exciting sector of international health insurance: international private medical insurance.

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Keeping In Touch With Friends And Family From Abroad

by Tom Wilkinson, CEO, AXA Global Healthcare.

Missing friends and family is something we’re becoming all too used to at the moment. For expats though, it can be especially tough. Prior to lockdown, research by AXA – Global Healthcare* found that nearly half (48%) of expats who have felt isolated at some point, miss friends and family. In the current climate, facing lockdown thousands of miles from their support network, they are bound to be presented with a roster of all-new challenges.

Keeping in touch with friends and family is often vital to expat wellbeing, helping to combat feelings of loneliness and isolation. But this year, during Loneliness Awareness Week, it’s more important than ever to keep in contact with loved ones. So, if there’s one thing I would suggest to any expat, it would be to have a conversation with the people you value the most from back home.

We’re lucky to live in a world that’s more connected than ever before. Most of us are becoming a great deal more accustomed to video conferencing for work, but there’s also been a global surge during lockdown in the number of people using video calls to catch up with friends and family, meaning your usual catch-up phone call can feel even more personal. One video conferencing platform has actually revealed that it went from having just 10 million daily users in December to an astonishing 200 million in March. So, whether you’re in China, Australia, England or Brazil, it’s never been easier to keep in touch while you’re abroad.

Another potential upside to our current situation is that it’s requiring us to not only be more personal in the way that we speak to each other, but also more inventive. After all, how many times can you ask someone what they’ve been up to during lockdown and expect a radically different answer.

Try adding a little fun to your catch-up calls to boost your spirits. I’ve heard of families organising quizzes and playing board games over video calls. Why not take it one step further though, and use your expat experience to put an extra spin on it?

Perhaps you could host a baking masterclass, in which you show your friends how to bake the sweet treat of choice in your local area. Or use some photography from your pre-lockdown travels to make vibrant backgrounds for your video calls. Maybe you could even take your family on a virtual tour of some of your favourite global landmarks that you’ve visited. Suddenly, being an expat isn’t a hindrance. It’s a springboard into a range of virtual possibilities.

Whatever you end up talking about though, the important thing is that you’re doing just that – talking. Sometimes, all we need is someone to listen. Having a good support network around you in times like these is vital, even if they can’t be there in person. So, whether you’re on the other side of the world from all of your closest family and friends, or just down the road, make sure to keep talking.

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How To Spend Your Christmas Abroad: Tom Wilkinson, CEO, AXA – Global Healthcare

If you celebrate Christmas, spending time away from home, family and friends can be tough at this time of year. And when you’re spending it in a country that celebrates the festive season in an entirely different way, or not at all, it’s easy to feel like you’re missing out.

But there’s a lot to enjoy about spending Christmas abroad, so try and embrace the local traditions and customs. The more you invest yourself, the more you’ll get out of it. You might not have turkey, tinsel and mistletoe, but other celebrations could be just as festive and exciting. And, you never know, you might enjoy your new way of celebrating Christmas so much that you continue with traditions from abroad even after you’ve returned home.

So, here are some traditions from around the world that you could get involved with this festive season:

Australia

The perfect Christmas in the UK might feature a blanket of snow outdoors and a warm, cosy setting to escape the cold. But with temperatures usually in the high 20s, Christmas Day Down Under is more about cold bottles of beer and games of cricket on the beach. You might even spot a surfing Santa while you enjoy the sunshine, or see a family sharing a Boxing Day barbeque.

Australians do, however, enjoy a traditional Christmas dinner on the big day, very similar to how Brits celebrate Christmas in the UK. And there are always plenty of festive light displays to marvel at.

The Philippines

The Philippines may not seem an obvious place to celebrate Christmas, but as the third-largest Catholic nation in the world, the festive season is hugely important. A particular highlight though, is the spectacular Ligligan Parul Sampernandu, or the Giant Lantern Festival.

Taking place on the Saturday before Christmas Eve in San Fernando, the Christmas Capital of the Philippines, the Lantern Festival draws spectators from around the world. Eleven local villages compete to build the most extravagant lantern, with some measuring up to six metres and featuring a variety of colours and patterns. It’s a new take on your Christmas light traditions, and it’s certainly a wonder to see.

Germany

Everybody knows that German Christmas goods are ideal for anyone with a sweet tooth. From gingerbread and marzipan to stollen and spiced biscuits, German Christmas sweets are renowned all over the world. Along with the sweet treats though, there are a lot of other German Christmas traditions that we’ve even adopted over here in the UK.

From singing Christmas carols like Stille Nacht (Silent Night) through to decorating beautiful green Christmas trees and hosting festive markets, a German Christmas really isn’t that far from what we experience here in the UK. You might want to watch out for Feuerzangenbowle, though, also known as ‘Fire Tong punch’. This drink, that brings together hot mulled wine, strong rum and open flames is a popular Christmas tradition in Germany, but it really packs a punch!

Ukraine

On December 25th, expats in Ukraine might feel a little left out of the festivities going on at home, as Ukraine celebrates Christmas on January 7th in accordance with the Eastern Orthodox religious calendar. But the festivities continue to grow every year.

While the custom in many countries is to decorate Christmas trees with tinsel, lights and baubles, a slightly different approach is taken in Ukraine. Instead of the usual sparkling decorations, trees here are decorated with a fake spider and a huge web. Many also have snowflake-like spiderweb baubles, made of paper and silver wire, called 'pavuchky' (which means 'little spider'). This age-old tradition sprang from a story about a poor woman who couldn’t afford to decorate her tree, but woke up on Christmas morning to find that a spider had adorned it with a glistening web.

Iceland

Christmas in Iceland really is beautiful, despite the skies being so dark, with Christmas lights and a blanket of fresh snow really brightening the place up. You might even be able to see the dancing Northern Lights on a clear night, too.

Meanwhile, in the days leading up to Christmas, 13 mischievous characters known as the Yule Lads visit children throughout the country, leaving gifts for nice girls and boys and rotting potatoes for those that have been naughty. Everybody loves a festive meal too, wherever they are in the world. The locals in Iceland don’t dine on turkey, though. The tradition is to eat pork on Christmas Eve, with smoked lamb and a flatbread decorated with seasonal patterns on the side.

Everyone has those special home comforts and traditions that they look forward to at Christmas, and being abroad is no different. But if you’re spending the festive season abroad for the first time this year, take every opportunity you get to explore local customs and make the most of Christmas, no matter where you are.

Whether it be having Christmas dinner on the beach or wrapping the tree in something extraordinary, make sure to approach the local traditions with an open mind. You never know what traditions you might end up incorporating into your own festivities, or perhaps you might even be able to share some of your home comforts with new friends.

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American Employees Have A Strong Desire To Work Abroad, But Rarely Take The Opportunity

A recent survey commissioned by MetLife found that 67 percent of American employees are interested in taking an expatriate (expat) assignment through their employer—stints lasting three months or more in another country—indicating that American workers have a strong desire to travel abroad for work.

Yet with just 15 percent saying they have taken an expat assignment, and 24 percent unsure whether their employer even offers them, employees are not finding expat opportunities or are unaware of how to take advantage of them.  

Gen X is as motivated to be an expat as Millennials

Seventy one percent of Gen Xers are interested in an expat experience, which is statistically equivalent to Millennials (75 percent). Despite the clear interest among both generations, only 12 percent of Gen Xers have ever gone on an expat assignment, versus 19 percent of Millennials. When asked what would motivate them to take an expat assignment, both groups indicated working abroad appeals to their desire for trying new things and sense of adventure:

 

Millennials

Gen X

Desire for a new experience

45%

52%

Curiosity/sense of adventure

45%

46%

Increased salary

45%

46%

Personal fulfillment

32%

36%

Work that gives you a sense of purpose

29%

36%

For employers, this is an opportunity to engage a significant segment of their workforce. As MetLife’s 17th annual U.S. Employee Benefit Trends Study revealed earlier this year, Gen X is the least happy generation of employees at work, feeling both overlooked and under-engaged. Promoting expat assignments may result in meaningful support of this demographic.

Expat assignments can boost talent acquisition and retention strategies

Employee interest in temporarily relocating abroad for work is an opportunity for savvy employers to promote their expat programs as a compelling talent acquisition tool. Interest in expat assignments is also more or less consistent across U.S. geographic regions,1 thus, employers who promote expat opportunities may have a competitive advantage in markets experiencing low unemployment and talent shortages.

Although “increased salary” (44 percent) is one of the top three reasons for wanting to be an expat, money is not the only motivator for wanting to go global. “The desire for a new experience” comes out on top (45 percent) followed by “curiosity/sense of adventure” (41 percent). Employers can leverage these motivators to not only identify the best candidates for current expatriate opportunities, but to draw the attention of potential new employees who are looking for more than monetary gains from their workplace.For example, higher-income employees, or those with over $100,000 in household income, not only express greater interest in expat assignments2, but also place more stress on professional development3 as a motivator to take on an expat assignment than their counterparts.

“Thanks to globalization, communications advancements, and a general appetite for acquiring experiences rather than things, it’s no surprise that the desire for expat experiences remains strong,” says Ann Deugo, head of MetLife Worldwide Benefits, the company’s expat business group. “Having an expat program is only the first step; employers should also take a look at expat benefit offerings to ensure they are customized to meet the specific needs of people who are living abroad. Those needs are unique to each expat assignment and catering to them will ensure a successful assignment for the employee as well as the employer.”

 

Research Methodology

This report presents the findings of a CARAVAN survey conducted by Engine among a sample of 1,004 adults comprising 502 men and 502 women 18 years of age and older. The online omnibus study is conducted twice a week among a demographically representative U.S. sample of 1,000 adults 18 years of age and older. This survey was live on April 22-24, 2019. Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have volunteered to participate in online surveys and polls. The data have been weighted to reflect the demographic composition of the 18+ population.

About Engine

Engine is a new kind of data-driven marketing solutions company. Powered by data, driven by results and guided by people, we help our clients make connections that count—leading to bottom line growth, an inspired workplace and business transformation. With global headquarters in New York and 17 offices across North America, the UK, Europe and Asia-Pacific, Engine offers clients a vast range of marketing solutions—including insights, content, distribution, data and technology. Find out more at enginegroup.com or follow us @Engine_US.

About MetLife Worldwide Benefits

MetLife Worldwide Benefits has been providing personalized solutions for globally-mobile employees for nearly 60 years. MetLife Worldwide Benefit’s products are underwritten by Delaware American Life Insurance Company, a MetLife affiliate domiciled at 600 North King Street, Wilmington, DE, 19801, and other affiliates. For more information, visit https://www.metlife.com/global-employee-benefits/globally-mobile-solutions/

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How To Submit News, Articles and Case Studies To iPMI Magazine

iPMI Magazine provides premium and freemium content delivery solutions specifically tailored to the international private medical insurance market.

Using the latest technology iPMI Magazine can deliver critical business communications to an eclectic worldwide readership from international medical payor to provider. 

News classifications include:

Write to ipmi[at]ipmimagazine.com to learn more or to submit content. 

About iPMI Magazine

Due to the nomadic nature of the international private medical insurance (IPMI) industry, iPMI Magazine is an internet based news service for worldwide insurance and assistance professionals who need to understand the impacts of insurance and healthcare policy, regulatory, and legislative developments. Over 40,000 senior level business decision makers, in over 120 countries, rely on iPMI Magazine to stay 1 step ahead of the risk and on the inside track of international PMI. Covering business travellers, high net worth individuals, expatriate and leisure travel markets, iPMI Magazine is the only international news source covering the most exciting sector of international health insurance: international private medical insurance.

Read more...
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