**”Cancer and Heart Disease Top Global Health Claims, Respiratory Illnesses Rank Third” – A Comprehensive Analysis**
Cancer and cardiovascular disease are the leading causes of claims worldwide. According to the Mercer Marsh Benefits report, respiratory disease ranks third after cancer. Moreover, the report highlights the need for broader cancer support to reduce claim costs, with 43% of insurance companies globally offering support for cancer rehabilitation and return to work.
**Implications on Health Insurance Costs**
The report also sheds light on the expected rise in employer-sponsored health insurance costs in India. It indicates an 11% increase in 2024, marking a return to pre-pandemic levels from the 9.6% recorded in 2023. High premiums are identified as a deterrent, preventing three in ten individuals from availing health insurance, as revealed by recent research.
**Transformational Healthcare Solutions**
In response to these challenges, the healthcare sector has embraced transformational solutions such as digital outpatient services and virtual tools. These include tele/video consultations with physicians, wearable devices, and remote patient monitoring, which have significantly improved accessibility and affordability for both employees and organizations.
**Adoption of Teleconsultation Tools and AI in Healthcare**
A noteworthy development is the widespread adoption of teleconsultation tools, with as many as 50% of insurers in Asia, including India, utilizing these tools to enhance program efficiency for their customers. Looking ahead, 70% of insurers surveyed globally anticipate the transformative impact of artificial intelligence on employer-sponsored healthcare in the next five years, particularly for primary care diagnosis and navigation.
**Paving the Way for Accessible Healthcare Plans**
Innovative benefit strategies through flexible programs and closing coverage gaps have emerged as potential solutions to effectively manage rising healthcare costs. Prawal Kalita, the Leader of Employee Benefits at Marsh India, emphasizes the importance of embracing outpatient primary care and digital health solutions. He advocates for the innovation of benefit strategies and the closure of coverage gaps to pave the way for accessible and effective healthcare plans for all in India.
In conclusion, the Mercer Marsh Benefits report presents a comprehensive overview of the prevalent health claims and the evolving landscape of healthcare. It underscores the necessity for proactive measures to curb rising health insurance costs and enhance accessibility to healthcare services for individuals and organizations globally.
This article is based on information provided by www.livemint.com.