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Arthur D. Little

Arthur D. Little has been at the forefront of innovation since 1886. We are an acknowledged thought leader in linking strategy, innovation and transformation in technology-intensive and converging industries. We enable our clients to build innovation capabilities and transform their organizations. ADL is present in the most important business centers around the world. We are proud to serve most of the Fortune 1000 companies, in addition to other leading firms and public sector organizations. For further information, please visit www.adlittle.com

Library: MercerMarsh Health Trends 2024

The report from Mercer titled Health Trends 2024 provides a comprehensive analysis of the key trends shaping employer-provided health benefits and highlights the challenges employers and insurers face in balancing cost containment with meeting employee needs.

Rising Medical Costs and Non-Communicable Diseases:

  • Over half of the countries surveyed are forecast to experience double-digit rate increases in employer-sponsored health insurance costs from 2022 to 2024.
  • Non-communicable diseases, such as cancer and cardiovascular conditions, are major drivers of claim costs and claim frequency.

Healthcare System Transformation and Digital Health:

  • Public healthcare systems are facing challenges, leading to increased reliance on private healthcare services.
  • Digital health innovations, such as telemedicine and artificial intelligence (AI), are expected to have a transformative impact on employer-sponsored healthcare over the next five years.

Cost Containment Strategies and Plan Design Changes:

  • Insurers are providing options for employers to make plan design changes, such as adjusting deductibles, co-payments, and covered expense sub-limits, to manage costs.
  • However, many insurers have not adjusted these cost-sharing features in line with inflation.

Mental Health, Women’s Health, and Inclusive Benefits:

  • Mental health benefits, including counseling sessions and support for substance abuse, remain an area with significant coverage gaps.
  • Women’s health benefits, such as contraception access and fertility treatments, vary widely across regions and are often not covered or limited.
  • Insurers are becoming more aware of the need for inclusive benefits and addressing disparities in healthcare access and outcomes.

Cancer Support and Preventive Care:

  • Cancer remains a top cause of claims in terms of cost and frequency, prompting insurers to offer additional support services like cancer rehabilitation and prevention programs.
  • Preventive measures, such as screening programs and lifestyle interventions, continue to be a priority for managing non-communicable diseases.

Conclusion

The report highlights the delicate balance employers and insurers must strike between cost containment and meeting the evolving healthcare needs of their workforces. As healthcare systems undergo transformation and costs continue to rise, employers are urged to evaluate their benefits strategies, prioritize preventive measures, embrace digital health solutions, and address gaps in coverage to ensure sustainable and inclusive healthcare benefits for their employees.

Link to full report: click here

The TDI editorial team uses AI to support the creation of this summary, but all content is reviewed and edited before publication.

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