👋 How Can We Help Make Health Care Better?
America is looking younger by the day. In fact, currently more than half of the U.S. population are Millennials born between 1981 and 2000, or younger1. Together, millennials and Gen Z (people born between 2001 and 2020) reached 166 million as of July 2019 — more than Gen X, baby boomers, and older individuals combined1.
As the younger generation gains ground, researchers are paying closer attention to what Millennials and Gen Z want and need when it comes to healthcare. While certainly diverse in their experiences and backgrounds, in general these demographic groups are looking for simplicity, convenience, flexibility, and speed in their healthcare services.
What else do Millennials and Gen Z want from their healthcare services and providers? Let’s take a closer look at a few key areas.
Telehealth really took off during the pandemic — especially with younger people. Indeed, the data shows that Millennials and Gen Z are more comfortable with remote healthcare services than their older cohorts.
According to one survey, 41% of younger respondents said they’d prefer to see their doctors virtually2. The HIMSS 2021 State of Healthcare Report found that 44% of Gen Z and Millennials would consider switching providers if their current one stopped offering virtual visits.3 This gives further credence to the claim that telehealth is here to stay.
Wellness Program Participation
While embracing the convenience and accessibility of telehealth, the younger generation appears to be taking a more active role in improving and managing their own health. That includes taking advantage of wellness programs and tools available to them. Research indicates that Millennials have the highest rates of wellness program participation, including smoking-cessation programs, stress management training and counseling, activity-based wellness challenges, wellness seminars, and fitness club memberships4.
Mental Health Awareness
Along with physical wellness, Millennials and Gen Z are also more aware of and concerned about their mental wellbeing. A survey from the American Psychological Association (APA) revealed that 91% of Gen Z respondents reported physical or emotional symptoms resulting from stress and mental health disorders5. Millennials reported an astounding 47% increase in severe depression since 20136.
The good news is, Gen Z and Millennials also are more likely than other age groups to seek treatment for their mental health disorders. According to another survey of patients ages 18-34, 86% percent said that they value their mental health either as much as or more than their physical health7.
A significant portion of the stress and anxiety Millennials and Gen Z are experiencing can be linked to the workplace. With 35% of the U.S. workforce qualifying as Millennials, employers are well advised to make sure their workers have access to affordable, quality healthcare services8. Providing good healthcare benefits is key to employee retention and engagement — both of which are on top of employers’ minds as they struggle to find and keep workers.
According to a Luntz Global Partners survey, 56% of U.S. workers with employer-sponsored health benefits said that their satisfaction with their health coverage is a primary reason they choose stay at their current job. What’s more, 46% of respondents said that health insurance greatly influenced how they chose their current job9.
To better address the needs and preferences of an expanding younger workforce, many employers are turning to employee self-service (ESS) portals that allow their staff to access, manage, and update information about their health plan benefits, health data, and costs, using any device with internet access, 24/7.
One such portal is Enrollme, which conveniently connects employees to a host of tools and resources to help them stay on top of their health plans and wellness, embrace healthy lifestyle habits, and lower their out-of-pocket costs. What’s more, the health plans employees purchase on Enrollme are portable, meaning they go with the employee in the event they leave or switch jobs — a common quality among job-hopping Millennials and Gen Z.
With only 66% of Millennials employed full-time, the gig-work generation is also in need of affordable alternatives to employer-sponsored health insurance and expensive ACA health plans8.
Doing Their Research
Studies show that Millennials are more likely than their older cohorts to proactively research their healthcare options, including costs, benefits, medication coverage, and provider ratings4. They’re also more inclined to create, track, and manage healthcare budgets and expenses to keep their costs in check4.
If all this sounds familiar, you may be a Millennial or Gen Z in search of more convenient, flexible, affordable, and easily accessible healthcare. While doing your own research, know that you also have resources here to help you make sense of your options and find the healthcare program that’s right for you. Start by giving SureCo experts a call at (800) 467-4898.