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Balancing the scales of financial stewardship and benefits strategy, employers are evaluating new weight-loss drugs for 2024 and beyond. Accolade surveyed HR decision-makers to gauge sentiment about GLP-1s* for use in metabolic health, including adoption rates, intent to adopt, and key decision-making factors. Here are four compelling insights:
Employers believe GLP-1s will positively impact employee well-being and overall company health 25% of employers are covering GLP-1s and have seen firsthand the potential benefits for employee well-being and company health. 79% believe GLP-1s will positively impact their employees' long-term health, while 77% think these medications contribute to a more robust health insurance package.
More research is needed before most employers commit to GLP-1 coverage There's a palpable thirst for knowledge among HR decision-makers, with 74% waiting for more information. They're inclined to wait another year to observe any significant benefits or side effects of GLP-1s. And their most trusted sources for this information? Doctors and medical organizations/publications.
Disparity exists in GLP-1s usage understanding among employers There's a significant disparity in understanding the usage of GLP-1s. While 78% of HR leaders are aware of these medications, their understanding of what they are used to treat varies based on whether they currently cover obesity medications or not. Specifically, those covering such medications have a higher understanding of what conditions GLP-1s are prescribed to treat compared to those interested in covering them or those with no interest.
The future of GLP-1s in employer healthcare plans looks promising With 43% of companies likely to offer GLP-1 coverage for weight loss in 2024, it's clear that the perceived benefits are making an impact. As more employers recognize the potential of these medications, we can expect to see GLP-1 coverage becoming an integral part of the benefits plan landscape by 2025.
To learn more about what employers think and are planning for around GLP-1s for weight loss, read our report: How employers view the weight-loss medication tsunami
Source: Savanta. (2023) GLP1-Employer Healthcare Thought Leadership. Internal Accolade document. * Glucagon-like peptide 1 agonists