The Mercer Health and Benefits Strategies for 2024 Survey Report discovered that many employers aim to offer more compelling employee benefits in the upcoming plan year. The survey found that 1 in 4 of the 700 surveyed employers implemented enhancements to their benefits programs over the past two years. Moreso, 67% stated they would be administering benefits improvements in their upcoming plan year with the purpose of bolstering attraction and retention rates.
Desired benefits enhancements
Despite the projected 7% increase in 2024 healthcare costs, the majority of surveyed employers plan to boost benefits in order to remain competitive in the job market. These benefits enhancements aim to target:
- Women’s health. Almost half of the surveyed employers will offer reproductive health benefits, along with an increased interest in offering menopausal support.
- Employee flexibility. In 2023, 27% offered unlimited paid time off (a 5% increase from the previous year). Additionally, paid parental leave is gaining popularity along with hybrid work options, paid time off to volunteer, full remote work options, shortened and consolidated work schedules, unpaid and paid sabbaticals, and PTO for an ill or new pet.
- Affordability. Due to inflation, employers are striving to slow health costs without shifting additional responsibility to employees. To achieve this, more employers are attempting to help employees navigate health conditions, address the costs of specialty prescription drugs, and improve virtual care utilization.
As employee benefits are becoming a higher priority for more employers, employers should continue to evaluate and reevaluate their organization’s wants and needs in order to be competitive.