Employer sponsored health insurance costs to rise 11% in 2024: Report | Finance News

Employer health insurance costs are expected to grow 11 per cent in India in 2024 as compared to the projection of 9.6 per cent in 2023, according to the Mercer Marsh Health Trends Report 2024. Globally, it is likely to increase to 12.3 per cent in 2024 as against 11.6 per cent that was predicted in 2023, the report added.

The report is based on responses from 223 insurers across 58 countries, analyzing the key trends that are shaping the future of health care provided by employers.

According to the report, plan improvements and delivering increasingly sought after benefits and demographic-specific employee health benefits will be the key drivers to cost containment in 2024. Fifty-seven per cent of insurers globally expect employers to seek plan improvements instead of cost-cutting measures that will limit coverage.

Further, health systems are getting transformed with people moving to digital healthcare — including tele- or video consultations with doctors, wearable devices, and remote patient monitoring. Seventy per cent of insurers expect the use of AI for first-line diagnosis and navigation to have a transformative impact on employer-sponsored health care over the next five years.


Furthermore, non-communicable diseases like cancer, those linked to the circulatory system such as hypertension and cardiovascular disease, and respiratory illnesses are identified as the top three causes of rising claims globally.

The research also found that insurers are including the under-represented sections — with 31 per cent of them considering adding diagnosis, learning support or occupational therapy to support neurodiversity. Meanwhile, diversity and inclusion gaps continue to persist in India, especially for benefits relating to mental health, women’s health, and people with disabilities.

Prawal Kalita, employee benefits leader of Marsh India, said, “Organizations in India are faced with mounting financial pressures associated with rising premiums. This is necessary for a renewed focus on balancing cost containment in the short term, with the provision of high-quality benefits that support the needs of an evolving workforce and aid talent attraction and retention in the longer term.”

“By embracing outpatient primary health care and digital health care solutions, refreshing benefits strategies through flexible benefits programs, and bridging coverage gaps, organizations in India can manage rising costs more effectively and pave the way for accessible and effective health care plans for all,” Kalita added.

First Published: Dec 20 2023 | 9:36 PM IST