Mercer Marsh Benefits™ finds that employer sponsored global healthcare plan costs continue to outpace inflation
Investing in data analytics and adopting a whole system approach to wellbeing will help employers, employees and insurers to manage cost and improve health outcomes
Medical costs are increasing on average 9.5% in 2017
Adopting integrated health and wellbeing strategies underpinned by stronger digital and data capabilities will be a critical factor in managing the rising costs of workforce health benefit programs. The advice comes as new research by Mercer Marsh Benefits, Marsh & McLennan Companies’ international employee benefits business, shows that medical costs of private plans are increasing at almost three times inflation in most major economies.
Mental health is now the 3rd highest risk factor
Mercer Marsh Benefits’ 2018 Medical Trends Around the World surveyed 225 insurers across 62 countries. The survey indicates that employers have an opportunity to better manage healthcare costs and improve outcomes for their people. According to insurers, only 14% of companies are offering to a very large extent preventive lifestyle programs for staff. While mental health is now cited as the third highest risk factor, employers are not responding effectively with close to 40% of insurers indicating that employer medical plans provide no access to personal counselling.
Employers are encouraged to adopt a whole system approach to wellbeing, in which mental health is recognized alongside physical health, as one of the essential building blocks to help employees fulfil their potential. Furthermore, given the expectations of today’s workforce for a seamless consumer-grade digital experience, employers and insurers will need to invest in digital and data capabilities with 1 in 6 insurers currently providing no digital claim capability today.
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