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Why The Global Remote Workforce Needs Health Benefits – And Emerging Providers

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Co-Founders Hans Nyvold Kjellby, Sondre Rasch, and Sarah Beyahte Sandnes (left to right)
Co-Founders Hans Nyvold Kjellby, Sondre Rasch, and Sarah Beyahte Sandnes (left to right)

Co-Founders Hans Nyvold Kjellby, Sondre Rasch, and Sarah Beyahte Sandnes (left to right)

The office is looking a lot different for many employees at the beginning of 2021 than it did last year at this time. Change is evident in terms of the morning commute, which often involves strolling from one room to the next, lunch breaks, where there’s no longer an excuse to have not made a lunch, and office attire, a choice that is up to the individual as long as what they are or are not wearing below the waste stays out of Zoom’s watchful eye. 

For the 41.8% of Americans who have yet to return to the office in 2021, remote work provides a very different experience. The one area that has not changed, however, is the need for employees to have health coverage and benefits regardless of where their office is situated. 

Arguably, it is more pertinent to have coverage now than it has ever been before, given the cost implications associated with COVID19 cases. Uninsured Americans who’ve contracted the virus have found themselves faced with hospital bills amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Until the vaccine has made itself available to all, the threat of spread is still very much real, and employees need to know that their health coverage will be there to protect them in the event that the unthinkable happens. 

But with the global workforce undergoing a massive transformation where we’re seeing a HUGE rise in the number of remote workers, digital nomads, and solo-preneurs, are health insurance providers positioned to embrace this change? 

For traditional providers, the answer is no. 

Their models are not made to accomodate teams that extend across borders as is commonly the case with remote workers. Nor are they set up to entertain the unique needs of the emerging workforce, who require flexible plans tailored to the individual. 

So, what are the options for this emerging workforce searching for insurance solutions in this changing landscape? 

In 2017 Hans Nyvold Kjellby, Sarah Beyahte Sandnes, and Sondre Rasch, a group of digital nomads, were experiencing first hand the frustrations that are now becoming much more common to a growing number of individuals finding themselves searching for health insurance solutions.

This sparked the conception of SafetyWing, a travel and health insurance provider designed to meet the needs of the emerging workforce that is nomadic, remote, and entrepreneurial. 

Today, SafetyWing has grown from a Norwegian startup to a multimillion dollar company backed by Y Combinator and based out of San Francisco. 

Their services have grown to include Nomad Insurance catering specifically to digital nomads, Remote Health for teams that operate remotely across the globe, and will soon include Remote Doctor to allow for a visit to the doc from anywhere in the world. 

During a recent funding round, SafetyWing raised an additional $8 Million based on their $42 Million valuation, proving that investors believe in the future of the company and are ready to put their money behind it. 

The world is experiencing change at a rate that can only be described as rapid. Many experts believe that COVID19 has accelerated the pace at which we’ve had to adjust to the emerging workforce by ten years. 

Last year at this time, companies such as SafetyWing were working on solutions for the future. The future is today, and the innovation and foresight of these companies is proving to be essential for a society that has launched into the remote world at hyperspeed. 

Amongst all the change we’ve experienced to date and can expect in the coming year, it’s paramount to ask yourself, am I protected by proper health coverage? Best to ask this question when you want to, not when you need to. 

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