There has been a lot of recent media coverage about health insurance in both the U.S. and Canada lately. It's an important reminder that access to affordable health care is important to factor into planning corporate events outside one's state or province.
If a member of the team or meeting attendee gets sick or has an accident away from home base, health care could be expensive. At some destinations, full payment up front may be required.
There are some steps that corporate event planners can suggest to help clients avoid a difficult scenario.
When selecting hotel or resorts, determine whether or not a nurse of doctor is on-site.
Some resorts have medical practitioners on staff. In fact, when I attended Jumana: Secrets of the Deserts, an attraction that used to be available in Dubai, I was pleasantly surprised to find that there was a nurse.
Select hotels, resorts and event venues that are accessible for participants with physical challenges.
- Investigate the possibility of adding a rider to the company's existing insurance policy to cover health insurance for a specific trip or corporate event.
- Obtain Event Insurance.
- This is important for events at which alcohol will be served and essential for activities like ziplining or abseiling.
- Distribute information about travel health insurance to all participants.
Identify high-risk participants. Contact them directly and stress the importance of arranging health insurance.
Families traveling with infants or toddlers or employees with allergies or physical challenges would fall into that category.
To minimize the possibility of accidents, ensure that an accessibility plan is in place.
I recently attended an event and was distressed to discover that another participant who required the assistance of 2 canes to walk was not offered assistance. She walked across a large parking lot, up stairs, down a long tunnel and up more stairs to get to the venue. She was in tears by the end of it.
- Prepare a profile for the venue and ensure that it has information about any special health needs of members of your party.
Be sure to obtain the location of the nearest clinic and hospital as well as phone numbers for emergency personnel.
Remember, 411 does not work at all destinations.
Travel Health Insurance
- CoverMe Travel Insurance
- Travel Guard Chartis
- Ontario Blue Cross
- RBC Travel Insurance
- CAA Travel Insurance
Photo Credits: iPocrates
For a discussion of other health related issues for corporate events, also consult Corporate Travel Best Practices: Duty of Care Resources and Allergy Alert: Tips for Event Planners.