Where can we find a health plan for an independent worker who will be working in China?
We are a small company that wants to hire a consultant to complete a mission to our manufacturing plant in China. This young contractor doesn't have an health coverage at the moment, and we want him to be covered. How can we make sure he's covered and where should we look for decent, affordable health plan during his mission (to last about a year)?Well, first of all, it is not precisely clear to me whether you are going to "hire" this person as a consultant or if, in fact, he will be a W-9 (1099) independent consultant providing professional services to your company.
If he will be an employee, the first thing to do is ask your current employee medical insurance broker what it can do to help you with this quest. If the broker writes for a variety of carriers, it should be relatively easy for the broker to find you a policy for the consultant.
Another viable source may be to log onto www.healthcareinternational.com. While I have not personally used this company's services, it appears to be a good fit for what you are seeking.
If your "young contractor" is really supposed to be a W-9 (1099) independent contractor, you should not necessarily provide him with health coverage, as most independent contractors are required to provide their own insurance coverage in order to meet the test of legitimately being independent contractors. From Section Two of the IRS Publication 15-A, which explains the difference between employees and independent contractors, one of the criteria for an independent contractor is "Whether or not the business provides the worker with employee-type benefits, such as insurance, pension plan, vacation pay, or sick pay." If the company does, the individual may not be deemed an independent contractor under the IRS rules.
In this case, you might help him find a carrier/policy and adjust how much you are paying him in order to cover his increased costs of doing business by assuming responsibility for this contractual relationship with you.
Penny is a seasoned human resources executive and consultant with over 25 years of diverse business experience in advising enterprise leaders on employment-related matters.