By tradition, health insurance in America has been provided through employment; however, younger generations are reshaping the work economy. Since gig work is outpacing the traditional workforce, Millennials and Gen Z are finding themselves excluded from health coverage. Coming from this, the aforementioned generations have some dissatisfaction with the status quo of the American health care system.
Millennials are now the largest slice of the adult population. There is a direct need for change in the healthcare system due to their concerns. At large, millennials are dissatisfied with the wait time for appointments, convenience and availability, and office efficiency. Furthermore, the rate of who uses primary care providers is changing. 85% of Baby Boomers use a primary care provider, 78% of Gen Xers, and 67% of Millennials. While the majority of people do still use a primary care provider, the interactions and perceptions are changing.
For example, younger generations are more likely to ask for a price estimate upfront. In further detail: 65% of Baby Boomers will request a price estimate before booking an appointment, and an additional 19% of Millennials and Gen Z are likely to do the same. Regardless of who is requesting these estimates, it is important to note that only half of the upfront estimates are accurate.
As previously mentioned, the gig economy is changing the core of the job market. 84% of employees have experienced physical and mental burnout from overworking themselves. As a [societal] result, flexibility is among the most important factors to Millennials and Gen Z workers. More specifically, 50% of millennials say work flexibility is a primary factor in choosing work, 44% of Gen Zers say the same. This has sparked popularity in freelance work. However, freelancing is considered non-traditional work, although it measures up the same. Due to this, freelancers at large do not receive the benefits of traditional employment: medical, dental, and life insurance, or worker’s compensation for short-term disability.
Moving forward, millennials want healthcare policies and services catering to their needs. Younger generations want to know their physician is good before their visit – 76% read reviews from other patients before choosing a doctor. Additionally, younger generations want capabilities to book appointments and pay bills online – 74% prefer this over in-person interactions. Lastly, the main concern from millennials is to have patient-centric healthcare experiences – 47% who switched providers blame poor customer service.
As of 2017, less than half of millennials felt support from their healthcare providers. In relation to this, millennials are switching healthcare providers for an assortment of reasons. For example, 37% who changes healthcare policies say they felt their healthcare representative was not knowledgeable enough to comfortably continue treatment with them. 22% weren’t getting good value of cost v. coverage. 19% switched to an insurance plan carrying their preferred provider. Lastly, 13% signed new policies with a wider range of options.
The future of health insurance is expected to have a greater emphasis on customer service, price transparency, and individualized, customized plans for the policyholder. In short, younger generations are looking for more bang for the buck. More information on this can be found by reading the infographic below.