2024 Employee Benefits Outlook
Navigating the Future of Employee Benefits: Trends to Watch in 2024
In the ever-evolving landscape of employee benefits, 2024 promises to be a year of significant
change and adaptation. Several key themes are emerging that will shape the way companies
approach technology, employee retention, client expectations, and the crucial topic of mental health.
To get to the bottom of it, we sat down with our team members Tara Byrd, Principal and Employee
Benefits Consultant, and Barbra Chambers, Sr. Client Executive of Employee Benefits, for a closer
look at the trends that are set to define the year ahead.
Technology Adoption: Streamlining Pain Points
The adoption of technology in the employee benefits space is accelerating, and telemedicine, in
particular, has seen remarkable growth. As we all learned to adapt to new methods of communication
and engagement, one area that has seen tremendous change is in virtual doctor appointments and
follow-ups. From what we’ve seen, employees are increasingly willing to embrace telemedicine
because it offers convenience, safety, and efficiency, which many were able to experience first-hand.
Beyond telemedicine, pricing transparency tools are gaining traction. As the cost of healthcare
continues to rise, American consumers are seeking more affordable options. These tools provide
answers to questions like, “Should I pay $4,000 for an MRI at the hospital, or is there a $400
alternative?” This increased transparency empowers individuals to make informed decisions about
their healthcare, alleviating a significant pain point.
Employee Retention: The Quest for Top Talent
Employee retention remains a paramount concern for businesses in 2024. The strategies that are
most likely to attract and retain top talent are centered on minimizing employee disruption and
avoiding cost increases for employees. The truth is, employees often focus on the cost of their
benefits package when considering job offers. To retain top talent, it’s crucial to effectively
communicate the strength of these perks. After all, if employees aren’t aware of the investment made
in their well-being, they may not perceive it as a genuine benefit.
In this context, top-tier benefits programs are not about offering a slew of expensive wellness
initiatives. Instead, they revolve around providing robust medical and ancillary benefits while ensuring
employees fully grasp their value. Open, transparent communication is key to fostering loyalty,
creating a better employee experience, and promoting a trusting work environment.
Client Expectations: The Pursuit of Cost Efficiency
Clients’ expectations have undergone a significant transformation in recent years. The primary focus
is on reducing costs while still offering robust benefits. More companies are transitioning from fully
insured to self-funded health plans, and this shift presents unique challenges. Self-funding is
complex, and not all brokers specialize in it. That’s why more and more clients are seeking expert
guidance to navigate self-funded plans efficiently.
Moreover, the specter of inflation looms large, affecting employees’ financial wellness. Employers are
keen on keeping healthcare costs stable and providing tools to help employees become savvy healthcare consumers—to teach them how to save money for themselves and their families. Across all industries, clients are looking to their benefits advisors for leadership on achieving these objectives
and fulfilling employee needs.
Employee Mental Health Benefits: Recognizing the Need
The demand for mental health coverage has never been more pronounced. There is a heightened
awareness of the importance of mental well-being as burnout is reaching new heights. One helpful
benefit that’s gaining traction? Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs). Employers are now trying to
highlight EAPs to their employees, recognizing the extensive benefits these wellness programs offer
at a relatively low cost.
Still, data shows that EAPs are severely underutilized. That’s why in 2024, education is likely to
become a crucial tool in ensuring employees are aware of the mental health resources available to
them. Employers are taking proactive steps to address this need, as they promote a more holistic
approach to work-life balance and employee well-being.
Moving Forward Together
All signs show that 2024 is poised to be a year of significant transformation in the realm of employee
benefits. Telemedicine is saving time and money, employee retention and benefits education are
becoming more focused, and mental health support is gaining the recognition it deserves.
As businesses adapt to these trends, employees and organizations alike stand to benefit. Contact our
team to learn more about how we can help your organization navigate your health benefits with
confidence in the year ahead — and beyond.