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G-5 Visa Domestic Servants and Medical Insurance

Effective October 15, 2009, the US Department of State now requires that ALL G-5 and A-3 domestics be covered by a medical insurance policy. Additionally, effective in 2014 the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) requires that all US residents be covered by a conforming medical insurance policy or pay a penalty/fine on their income tax return.Who pays for the insurance policy must be stipulated in the employment contract. Sponsors are encouraged to pay all or part of this policy of insurance, and in fact the World Bank Group and Organization of American States requires that the sponsor pay the cost of the insurance policy. The UN Staff Union offers low-cost medical insurance called G-5 MEDPLAN.

World Bank Group & OAS staff who sponsor and employ G-5 domestics are required by the respective G-4 Code of Conduct to provide their G-5 employee Medical Insurance. This is in addition to the agreed compensation and the policy premiums are the financial responsibility of the G-4 sponsor. The US tax code does not require that these premium amounts be reported as income to the G-5 employee.

The IMF & IADB G-4 Code of Conduct refers to the Employment Contract between the G-4 and the G-5 on this issue. The IMF G-5 Employment Contract must state that medical care in the United States can be very expensive. It must also state whether the G-5 will be offered health insurance, and if so the cost to the employee, if any. Medical insurance premiums paid by the G-5 are paid from the net pay (after taxes have been deducted).

The United Nations Code of Conduct states that the employer shall pay the worker’s medical insurance and reasonable expenses.

The US Department of State can deny a visa application for a G-5 domestic when, in the sole judgement of the consular office, the resultant wage to the G-5 (wages less the policy of insurance) is deemed inadequate to be considered a “living wage.” This happens with increasing frequency since October 2009, as US medical insurance that conforms with the Affordable Care Act has become quite costly. The G-5 visa is considered a privileged granted to the staff member of these international organizations, and the State Department is keen to insure that the G-5 never becomes the financial responsibility of the host country and to prevent human rights abuses, particularly domestic enslavement

IMPORTANT: We remind staff members that they are responsible to remain in compliance with their respective G-4 Codes of Conduct on this and all terms of their G-5 employment. HomeWork Solutions relies on information supplied by the Sponsoring Organizations and posts this information here at our website as a courtesy.

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