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Navigating the 2024 Healthcare Cost Surge: How Employers are Adapting to the Challenge

Next year is set to see the largest increase in healthcare costs in ten years.1 Employers are bracing themselves for the start of 2024, reevaluating their benefits packages to mitigate the upcoming surge.

 

According to a recent survey, over two-thirds of employers are searching for ways to avoid shifting the burden of rising costs onto their staff, recognizing the financial stress employees are already facing due to inflation.1 The situation has forced employers to provide targeted perks that address workers’ needs while maintaining cost-effectiveness

 

Inflation vs. Healthcare Costs

Though the US experienced a slight dip in inflation in recent months, medical cost increases are likely to lag behind. Because insurance plans are signed months in advance, employers are in a challenging position as they anticipate a 5.4- 8.5% increase in healthcare costs for the next year.1

 

A market that is more expensive can result in lost renewals, so the increase has also forced brokers and benefit advisors to look toward new solutions that cover gaps in coverage for their employer groups.

 

Trying a New Approach

Many employers are looking for a more strategic approach to benefits. Fully insured plans are not always the best option; rather than overwhelming employees with services and benefits they will likely never use, employers are focusing on bridging gaps in coverage, especially in areas like mental health and women’s health. It’s a shift from quantity to quality.

 

2024 Key Trends

 

Mental Health Support

  • Mental health resources are highly valued by employers1
  • Virtual offerings supplement network coverage to meet the increase demand

 

Women’s Health

  • Menopause support expansion
  • Virtual offerings supplement network coverage to meet the increase demand

 

Health-Adjacent Perks

  • New Lifestyle Spending Accounts (LSAs) approach
  • Non-health-related benefits, like gym memberships & nutritional meal delivery services to provide flexibility2

 

Provider Network Reach

  • Assurance of provider network rural reach
  • Accessible care for underserved populations and neighborhoods

 

With Hooray, covered members skirt the issue of finding close-by quality care by using the Hooray Health app and Member Portal. Hooray Health Retail Clinics and Urgent Care Centers span across the country, making it simple to find care where and when you need it.

 

The Future of Employee Benefits

As 2024 quickly approaches, US employers are looking for brokers to come to the rescue with more thoughtful approaches to benefit offerings. The emphasis is on providing targeted perks that address the unique needs of their workforce while ensuring cost-effectiveness. By prioritizing mental health, women’s health, and the use of health-related benefits, employers are distinguishing themselves in a competitive labor market. This strategic shift reflects a deep commitment to the well-being of their workforce in the face of rising healthcare costs.

 

Hooray Health is ahead of the game in this aspect. Our collection of ancillary benefit options allows our members to receive the care they need without compromising on quality or breaking the bank. If you’re interested in learning more about our benefit options, let us know.

 

  1. https://www.reuters.com/world/us/us-employers-see-biggest-healthcare-cost-jump-decade-2024-2023-09-20/
  2. https://www.axios.com/2023/09/26/employers-benefits-mental-health-womens

A Note from CEO Shane Foss

“Hooray Health’s ancillary benefits are designed to enhance employee care with the coverage that matters most. Instead of breaking the bank on expensive and unnecessary options, Hooray puts employee needs first at the lowest cost possible. It’s the best way we’ve found to support average Americans afford quality care.
If you’re curious about how Hooray Health can support your team, click the link below and you can set up a call with Christopher White, our Director of Strategic Consulting, for a brief introductory call.”