The New Shape of Work interview series addresses the challenges and uncertainty brought by the coronavirus and how to transition to a more agile workforce for the future.

Providing cost-effective benefit plans that protect and improve health requires optimizing costs while maintaining a focus on employee wellbeing. This interview brings us a discussion between Norman Dreger, Partner and CEO of Mercer Germany, and Amy Laverock, Mercer Marsh Benefits Global Strategic Initiatives and Solutions Leader discussing:

  • The role of employee benefits programs play in supporting the employee retention, engagement, and employee wellbeing.
  • The uncertainty that COVID-19 has brought to medical trend rates, and increased risks to cost containment efforts and employee health.
  • The three main strategies for employee benefit cost management that balance cost and empathy to provide benefits that are valuable to both employees and the company.
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Interesting moments from the interview:

  • Medical care urgency

    "Going into 2021 we will keep feeling this cost pressure pain. But we're also going to see the rebound in elective diagnostics and treatments. We're going to see ongoing COVID concerns as the long term physical and mental health effects on survivors of COVID-19 are still largely unknown. We're going to see delays in care leading to more expensive and intensive care, so delays in diagnosing cancer, or exasperation of chronic conditions like diabetes, is going to require more expensive and intensive care."
  •  Identify the market factors for medical care

    "To balance care and cost, employers really need to identify the market factors, along with the provider behaviors, and the employee behaviors that are driving the benefit cost increases. This will help employers really develop cost containment strategies that still give access to quality care but also manage risk."
  • Telemedicine and accessible care

    "Before the pandemic, you can see in our Health on Demand research, tech savvy workers were really frustrated with the lack of digital embedded in health and well-being programs. The pandemic has just made this an even greater necessity and it has accelerated virtual care like telemedicine as well as mental health applications."

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