With 2023 coming to a close, it’s time to look toward the new year and consider the trends that will shape the employee benefits and insurance industries in 2024. Keeping ahead of these trends and implementing appropriate changes at your workplace will help your organization remain competitive and meet your recruiting, retention and employee happiness goals. Check out these five trends we’re expecting to see in the new year.
1. Digital-first experiences
Over the past decade, the employee enrollment experience has become an increasingly digital interaction. However, what was once a clunky and frustrating transaction is becoming more sophisticated. In 2024, digital enrollment will become even more seamless for employees with the integration of AI-powered chatbots, personalized employee portals and virtual consultation services.
2. Focus on employee support
Don’t think that a digital-first experience means lack of human support for employees! Quite the opposite, we expect to see more employers focusing on employee support in 2024 by bringing in benefits experts to help guide employees through the complexities of insurance and enrollment. These benefits experts aren’t just salespeople, but can also help employees choose their benefits wisely.
In addition, employers will support employees year-round by providing them access to benefits advocates who employees can call on for assistance with their benefits and health care.
3. Cost containment challenges
Inflationary pressures will continue to impact both employers and employees in 2024, with employers projecting a median health care cost increase of 7% in the new year.1 Employers must balance the need to offer competitive benefits with what they can afford. And employees must choose a benefits package that provides needed coverage while not adding to financial stress. Employers that help workers cope with inflation will retain employees and reduce lost productivity due to financial stress.
4. Growing demand for voluntary benefits
With cost containment challenges in mind, we expect to see the growing demand for voluntary benefits continue to rise in 2024. Voluntary benefits are affordable for employers AND employees—and they help fill gaps left by core benefits. Industry projections show the top three growing voluntary benefits from 2022 to 2025 being critical illness insurance (77%), hospital indemnity insurance (74%) and accident insurance (56%).2
5. Agile compliance strategies
With benefit regulations in constant flux, agile compliance strategies will become increasingly important in 2024. Employers should stay abreast of changing regulations by harnessing technology to automate compliance workflows. In addition, employers can partner with expert compliance teams to create benefits documents and materials for employees. Working with experts can help employers reduce litigation risk, reduce risk of penalties, improve efficiency and improve employee understanding.
Washington National is here for you in 2024!
Keeping up with employee benefits and insurance trends can be overwhelming, but Washington National is here to support you and your employees. Learn about how we can help enhance your benefits program here.
1SHRM, Employers Anticipate 7% Rise in health Care Costs for 2024, https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/hr-topics/benefits/pages/employer-healthcare-cost-projection-2024-international-foundation-employee-benefit-plans.aspx, 2023.
2Eastbridge Consulting Group, Inc., Voluntary Product Trends, 2021.