The Global Equity Equation: Balancing Consistent Health Benefits Worldwide

Explore the balance of global health equity in workplaces, ensuring consistent benefits and sustainable strategies for a diverse workforce.


What is health equity in the global workplace? Global consistency in employee health plans is one element, as it seeks to ensure that employees, wherever they’re located, can expect a certain standard of benefits. Consistency alone, however, does not guarantee equity. True equity requires much more: Adjustments designed for diverse health care environments across various regions, providing all employees with the opportunity to achieve their health potential.1

Creating and maintaining a consistent yet equitable health benefits strategy across multiple countries presents several challenges. These include variations in health care standards, inconsistency in vendor partner offerings, differing legal requirements and different cultural attitudes toward health and well-being. To address these challenges, employers can utilize several levers to strategically deploy equitable programs, such as tailoring benefits to meet diverse needs while ensuring financial sustainability. These efforts may involve investing in local health initiatives or partnering with proven and/or emerging health care providers to enhance service quality and accessibility.

Sustainability Matters to Equity

Sustainable health and well-being initiatives refer to those that can evolve over time, meet budgetary constraints and provide long-lasting benefits. Such sustainable programs are crucial for providing a level of care and an array of service offerings that keep pace with evolving employee needs and health care costs. Claims and other health risk data could be analyzed to zero in on strategies like offering preventive care and telemedicine services that work to curtail unnecessary expenses and hospital visits. In addition, sustainable health programs that identify and seek to fill voids in the care continuum should be in alignment with the organization's core values and long-term objectives. Strategic alignment not only enhances the employee experience but also integrates health equity into the workplace culture. For example, a company prioritizing innovation and leadership might focus on deploying advanced health technologies in underrepresented regions. This approach showcases a strong commitment to well-being and strengthens the company's culture and market position as a forward-thinking employer.

Strategic Levers for Advancing a Health Equity Strategy

In developing a sustainable global health equity strategy, employers can consider structuring their strategic health benefit goals to align with organizational values, whether they're setting market minimums or aiming for cutting-edge standards. This strategy involves a thorough evaluation of care gaps, cultural norms and legal frameworks across different countries and regions, allowing for a realistic and scalable approach. Strategic partnerships are vital in this context; By collaborating with vetted vendors and leveraging consultant expertise, employers can significantly enhance the quality and reach of their health benefits. Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs), for example, are helpful in extending health care infrastructure and services in resource-limited areas.

Moreover, adopting innovative financing models such as captives, outcome-based financing or health care bonds can help manage costs and ensure that investments in health programs promote equitable outcomes. With stable health care costs, savings can be redirected to support diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB) initiatives. Enhancing DEIB can involve improving talent retention through targeted health benefits, bolstering mental health and well-being programs and addressing social determinants of health (SDOH) to ensure equitable health care outcomes globally. This dual focus not only fosters a healthier and more inclusive workforce but also underscores the strategic value of investing in global health equity.


Sustaining a global health equity strategy requires a thoughtful blend of innovative financing, strategic partnerships and a deep commitment to aligning corporate values and the health needs of a diverse workforce. By prioritizing these elements, employers can ensure that their health benefits not only meet globally consistent standards but also can adapt to meet the unique challenges of their international operations. A commitment to health equity is a critical step in the journey toward fostering a healthy, engaged and productive workforce.