Millennials differ from previous generations in the way they consume healthcare, and they tend to be cautious based on monetary concerns. For example, half of millennials admit to avoiding a doctor visit to save on funds. And that’s just the start. Other data shows:
- Only 67 percent of millennials have a primary care physician.
- Almost 90 percent of millennials say they’d provide direct feedback about medications to a pharmaceutical company to help those businesses better develop and support new medications.
- More than 93 percent of millennials don’t schedule preventive healthcare visits with their insurance-provided primary care doctors.
A big trend among millennials is visiting retail health clinics and/or urgent care facilities for their healthcare due to the convenience and pricing transparency those places offer. One survey reported that approximately 35 percent of millennials prefer retail clinics and 25 percent prefer acute care clinics. A study published in Health Affairs discovered an association between increased use of retail health clinics and higher health plan utilization.
Health insurance for this age group is another matter. More than one-third of millennials report not being well-informed about the health insurance options available to them, and almost 40 percent say they have difficulty making health plan decisions. They often select high-deductible insurance plans with lower premiums and prefer offerings that include wellness programs, discounts on health services and affordable gym memberships. With less knowledge of the health insurance industry, it’s no surprise approximately 3.1 million millennials stay on their parents’ health insurance until they turn 26 and can no longer do so.
A key reason millennials expect a different delivery of healthcare services is their exposure to technology at an early age. They utilize online resources, cloud computing, mobile apps, fitness trackers and other wearable technology in their everyday life. They expect to use these methods to compare health insurance plans, select healthcare providers, schedule appointments, read reviews and attend virtual appointments. These options give them quicker access to care and offer shorter wait times. Plus, about 40 percent of millennials say the options of telemedicine and telehealth are extremely or very important to them.
Social media also plays a part in how millennials experience healthcare. Nearly 90 percent of them trust healthcare information shared by others on social media, and almost 80 percent don’t mind sharing their medical information online. Over 40 percent of millennials have consulted reviews on social media or other online resources before making a healthcare decision.
The utilization of healthcare by millennials will have a definite impact on the future of the industry. Individuals who forgo healthcare now may experience higher healthcare costs and poorer health outcomes as they age. According to the Health Foundation, millennials may have a higher risk of developing cancer, diabetes and heart disease later in life. In addition, they’re more likely to experience chronic loneliness than previous generations.
Though more than 80 percent of millennials don’t believe Social Security will be around for them when they retire, the Social Security Administration estimates it will only be able to pay 75 percent of benefits starting in 2035, but experts predict the program will still exist in 2050 and beyond. This will enable millennials to utilize that income toward healthcare expenditures. They’ll most likely see a difference in Medicare and other senior care programs as more baby boomers begin retirement.
If you’re a millennial concerned or confused about healthcare, we recommend the following tips:
- Compare health insurance plans by considering the deductibles, copays, prescription drug costs and co-insurance.
- Educate yourself on health savings accounts. This option can help you pay costs accrued for healthcare products and services not covered by insurance, which can be especially high with a high-deductible health plan.
- Consider an employer-offered flexible spending account; this option lets you set aside money before taxes for eligible healthcare costs during the year.
- Don’t forgo health insurance. The risk for high healthcare expenses is often lower when you’re younger, but don’t be unprepared because you could get stuck with a $20,000 hospital bill.
- If you want to purchase health insurance but don’t want to spend a lot of money, select a high-deductible, lower premium health plan.
- Educate yourself on common terminology in healthcare insurance plans; examples include HMO, PPO, HAS, FSA, deductible, premium and copay.
The AMR Commitment
At AMR, we are dedicated to adapting with the changing environment. As our general manager, Megan Kaufman, notes, “Millennials will usher in changing technology, services and legislation over the coming decades. AMR remains dedicated to contributing to healthcare, as a whole, fully living out our belief statement that ‘every patient should receive quality healthcare’. I am optimistic about the future of healthcare in the hands of millennials and looking forward to what lies around the bend.”
Our IT team works diligently to update our portal to improve efficiency and accessibility while maintaining the confidentiality and security of patient health information. We’re committed to a professional environment mindful of millennial expectations, and our extensive online presence and broad portfolio of services are designed to ensure transparency, accuracy and value for all our employees and clients.
Read more of our content surrounding millennials and healthcare on the AMR Blog.