LOS ANGELES, May 14, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- As Millennials overtake the Baby Boomers as the largest generation according to the U.S. Census Bureau, national nonprofit Transamerica Center for Health Studies® (TCHS) released today new research showing how Millennials are shaking up traditional healthcare.
The new report titled Millennials: Digital Natives Disrupting Healthcare Trends, analyzes a representative sample of 1,172 Millennials from its 6th Annual TCHS Consumer Healthcare Survey conducted in 2018. The analysis focuses on Millennials' access to health insurance, how they use and make decisions regarding healthcare, and general trends in their health and wellness. The analysis also provides comparisons with Generation X (Gen X) and Baby Boomers (Boomers).
Millennials (16 percent) are more likely to be uninsured compared with the older generations (12 percent of Gen X and 8 percent of Boomers), an increasing trend since 2016. When asked why they lack insurance, 60 percent of uninsured Millennials say it is too expensive. More than the older generations, uninsured Millennials say that they do not have time to acquire coverage.
One in five Millennials (21 percent) are not satisfied with the quality of the healthcare system they have access to—a dissatisfaction that has increased each year since 2016. This dissatisfaction, coupled with limited finances, may contribute to their reporting less frequent visits to their doctor's office in the past 12 months compared with older generations. They are also more likely than older generations to use online sources to gather information about their health, health insurance, and healthcare providers.
"Millennials use online resources more often than seeking expertise from physicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals," says Hector De La Torre, executive director of TCHS. "An overdependence on the internet can be harmful - both in misinformation and misinterpreted information. Every patient is different, so Millennials should not rely solely on generic outside information."
Healthcare policy is another issue that attracts more Millennial attention than that of older generations. More than half are concerned (57 percent "extremely" or "very" concerned) about the healthcare policy changes in Washington D.C. Their biggest fear among potential policy changes is losing healthcare because of a preexisting condition (29 percent).
Millennials do not shy away from mental health and alternative care options. In the past twelve months, Millennials are more likely to have one or more mental health visits compared with older generations. Millennials report chiropractic visits or massage therapy (19 percent) and acupuncture visits (13 percent).
"Looking to the future, Millennials are adapting how they access healthcare and are open to different healthcare options, while remaining wary of losing their health coverage," says De La Torre. "With one in five saying they cannot afford routine healthcare expenses, Millennials are seeking stability in the form of employer-based health coverage."
Employers also appear to be helping their millennial employees by providing health and wellness programs, and Millennials are more receptive to such efforts than older employees are.
Despite their concerns, Millennials report the highest levels of health and wellness compared with older generations. Millennials have a positive view of their own health, with 80 percent rating their health as excellent or good. More than half of Millennials (55 percent) say their current, most important health-related priority is "staying healthy and covering basic preventive healthcare expenses."
As Millennials grow older and increase their economic power and impact on American society, they will continue to disrupt healthcare. Given the sheer size of their generation, Millennials will demand that the healthcare industry understand and address their distinct needs. By doing so, Millennials will also have an effect on how healthcare services are delivered to all generations.
For more detailed research findings, please view the full report, Millennials: Digital Natives Disrupting Healthcare and Whitepaper.