Cameron Betts is a Senior Health & Benefits Consultant with Mercer where he consults on health and benefits strategy for U.S. based and global employers.
He joined us on the Paytient Podcast to talk about what’s in and what’s out for benefits in 2024 and beyond.
Get a look below at Cameron's point of view on what strategies he thinks are here to stay and which ones aren't serving our employee populations any longer.
Benefit Ecosystem vs. Universe
“One of the biggest false statements that gets made is that somebody will say, I want to be a part of a client's or a group's ecosystem. If I’m an HR person and I want to add something to my ecosystem or change who's managing my ecosystem the actual phrase ecosystem is wrong. It's a universe. It's not an ecosystem. An ecosystem is something that would work together. If you think of a garden, if you think of planting a seed, then water it in the sun, bugs come, and then birds come, and then the fruit comes. Then everything goes back into the soil come the winter time when it does come back, it all works together again. 99% of all of the items in an employer's universe do not work together.”
Ask Your Employees What They Want and What They Don’t
“Very few organizations have people that stay there. A lot of people aren't getting that gold retirement watch. The tenure isn't what it used to be at an organization, and one of the biggest things that we've been seeing is asking people what they want. That’s kind of the problem that oh maybe you don't want the answer, but at the end of the day, when you start asking people what they want, you're going to get different answers. And we're at a point in technology where you can start meeting the specific needs of individuals and focus on what are those unmet needs, really? So we do surveys, and we encourage employers to survey their employees by asking them what they want, but more importantly, what they don't want.”
The Reality of The Social Determinants of Health
The whole concept of social determinants of health gets thrown around in the same way that big data got thrown around ten years ago. People say it, but it's like what does that mean? When you really start looking at social determinants of health and the buzz around it, we can find out someone's zip code and we can find out where food deserts are, and those are really kind of the big two that get thrown around. Great. You know, you gotta start somewhere. But when you really start thinking about it, and if you have a low-paid workforce and you think, wow this person is just over the 30 hours and there's multiple dependents and this is a single family. You wonder, does this person have multiple jobs? Do they have access to transportation? Do they have housing insecurity from a standpoint of can they make rent? What are the credit issues? What does that second job look like? And then you give them a cancer diagnosis, and it's like okay now let's figure out how we're going to help them and really look at what social determinants of health are. So it is interesting and I call it out just because it gets thrown around in my opinion far too often, and it's like okay well, what's your answer to it?