According to Money, by 2017, Millennials will have more buying power than any other generation. Guess what isn't high on a Millennial's 2017 purchase wish list: Insurance.
Why? Millennials are the young invincibles, concerned with spending, frantic about debt and determined to live by a new kind of conventional wisdom that suits their needs.
In case you missed it, the CNBC article, Millennials can't afford health insurance, adopt risky alternatives, highlights survey findings that indicate one in five adults ages 18 to 36 reported they could not afford routine health-care expenses, with many reporting they are uninsured because of costs. The survey, commissioned by the national non-profit Transamerica Center for Health Studies (TCHS), focused on the responses of 1,171 people born between 1980 and 1997, noting that the uninsured rate among Millennials has steadily declined from a high of 23 percent in 2013.
The results of the study, conducted by Harris Poll via a self-administered online survey among the 1,171 millennials featured, revealed perspectives and trends sure to carry into 2017.
- For many of the millennials who responded to the survey, cost is the biggest barrier to getting health insurance. Seven in 10 millennials say cost is a very important factor when looking for healthcare. Sixty-six percent of millennials feel a premium at or above $200 per month is unaffordable.
- Cost is also a barrier to actual care, with one in five millennials reporting being unable to afford routine healthcare expenses, while an additional 26% report they can afford it, but with difficulty.
- Millennials report a general lack of knowledge about shopping for and buying health insurance.
- Moms and doctors are key sources of health information for Millennials. Millennials are most likely to say they used physicians/nurses and friends or family for information about their health, health insurance, and the healthcare providers. Nearly two-thirds of Millennials (64%) who rely on friends and family say they specifically rely on their mother/step-mother for health information.
- There is a gap between Millennials who use the Internet for health information and Millennials who rely most on the Internet for health information: 27% of Millennials rely on medical websites for health information, but only 5% rely most on websites for health information.
- Good news, rates of uninsured Millennials continue to drop.The percentage of uninsured Millennials has steadily declined from a high of 23% in 2013 to a low of 11% in the current 2016 survey, while the privately insured and publicly insured has increased since 2014. Of those currently uninsured, 37% have never had insurance.
- Of those who are currently uninsured, knowledge remains the biggest barrier, despite the mandate. Four out of the five most commonly reported reasons for not obtaining coverage before the Affordable Care Act (ACA) deadline earlier this year had to do with Millennials being uninformed or unaware. Currently, most Millennials are privately insured. Women are almost twice as likely as men to be publically insured.
- 15% of Millennials are the dependents on their health insurance, while two-thirds are the primary insured. Over three-quarters (76%) of men are the primary insured, compared to 56% of women. Meanwhile, over a quarter (26%) of women are the spouse on their insurance, compared to only 11% of men.
- Visits to a doctor's office is most common among Millennials, with 70% of Millennials visiting a doctor’s office in the past year. Few Millennials say they have visited a walk-in retail clinic or an urgent care center.
- Almost half of Millennials expect to receive health benefits through an employer in 2017. Of those who are uninsured, almost half do not intend to have health insurance in 2017. Of the Millennials not planning on having insurance in 2017, 62% would rather pay the penalty than pay the costs associated with insurance.
On the bright side, employers who want to help provide millennial employees with insurance options are going the way of increasing availability of voluntary insurance benefits options.
Voluntary benefits is one of the fastest growing segments in the employee benefits business. With rising healthcare costs and healthcare reform initiatives, many employers have opted to reduce the amount of coverage they make available to employees.
Millennial Insurance Consultants
Voluntery benefits help employers fill the gaps created when balancing costs with providing the coverage options required to retain key employees. Two driving concerns in the insurance market today are the demands of cost control and talent management - and the most effective way to both balance and optimize the two for organizational gains. For many organizations, this requires rethinking how they spend and structure their voluntary benefits strategy to meet the needs and expectations of today's Millennial worker.