What’s Trending in Employee Benefits for 2024?
Being born and raised in Iowa, I know every winter brings snow, cold temperatures, and ice to the area. I always enjoy the beauty on the first snow, then become increasingly irritated by the messy roads and sidewalks, cancellations, and lack of sunshine that follow. It happens every year in the Midwest, but I still find myself unprepared and hoping we can have one winter without the mess. Spring arrives before we know it, and we settle back into enjoying the seasons as the days get longer and warmer.
Just like the weather patterns, we also have a cadence in Employee Benefits consulting with our clients at Holmes Murphy. While the new year has just begun, it is the time in our annual cycle when we meet with employers to review the prior year experience and institute plans for the current and future years. It’s also the time to discuss emerging trends and strategies and understand the business goals each client is working towards.
Costs and Care Remain Top Priorities
Many employer groups have just completed their annual enrollment as their benefit plans renew the first of the year and are now working to check the boxes on their compliance requirements. The quarterly 2024 meetings will be no different as we begin to look at the evolving view of health and wellbeing, trends in health and pharmacy and overall costs that will impact each employer’s benefit plans.
An article by Business Group on Health released in late 2023 predicted many trends to be on the radar for companies in 2024. While each of the trends do not apply to all, there are several every employer should be examining.
Rising Healthcare and Pharmacy Costs
Even with much-needed investment in clinical and technological innovation, healthcare and pharmacy costs are still heavily impacted by inflation, provider shortages, deferred preventative care, and more. Finding a balance between cost management and ensuring value for employees remains crucial for organizational success.
Prioritizing Mental Health
70% of employers rank mental health access as a top priority in 2024. Expanding access to services is a key part of this strategy, and vendors and employers alike are expected to create a more integrated approach to mental health care.
Emphasis on Preventative Care for Chronic Conditions
Prevention and primary care are returning to the forefront of health care strategies. Identifying chronic conditions and cancers sooner can improve outcomes for employees and help reduce costs for employers.
Enhanced Vendor Transparency and Reporting
Rising drug costs have shocked employees and employers alike, prompting calls for greater transparency in pricing from vendors and pharmacies as a growing number of people qualify for prescriptions like GLP-1s (like Ozempic) and more.
New Year, New Employee Benefits Strategy
In addition to these trends and the need to mitigate costs, companies are also struggling with how to attract, retain, and add value for their employees.
Enhancing benefits is no small task, which is why Holmes Murphy approaches strategic planning with our clients each year to give ample time and structure to create and review goals, analyze data, and set expectations to ensure accountability. We know this is all crucial to building the annual road map with our clients so they can successfully achieve their desired outcomes.
We have learned from experience that every organization’s industry, people, and cultures are unique. That’s why we engage our clients early and often throughout the year to care for them and their unique potential. So, while there is still snow on the ground and it feels like we just turned the page on 2024, Holmes Murphy is working hard to support our clients in their Employee Benefits journey.
If you’re looking for a partner to help you transform your benefits, reach out today!
Published on: 02.08.24