The demographics of the U.S. population are changing. As the baby boomers move into retirement, millennials are quickly becoming the new face of the country, especially when it comes to healthcare. Millennials are in the prime of their lives, but that doesn’t mean they don’t get sick from time to time. They currently make up about one half of the U.S. workforce and around a quarter of the general population.
Healthcare facilities and administrators are bracing themselves for the next chapter of healthcare, and millennials will be front and center. From automated messages to low-cost emergency care, take a look at what millennials want out of healthcare, so you can reach out to new patients.
Millennials at a Glance
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, millennials are defined as those born between 1982 and 2000. There are currently just over 81 million millennials in the U.S. Most of them are out of school and entering the workforce.
As you might imagine, millennials are no strangers to mobile digital devices. They own, on average, 7.7 smart devices per person and use around 3.3 each day. A whopping 90% of millennials own smartphones and most of them use it to access the Internet on a daily basis.
Compared to previous generations, members of this age group are more likely to have a college degree. They’re also more likely to put off marriage, buying a home, and starting a family, and many of them still live at home with their parents. In 2018, 15% of millennials (ages 25 to 37) were living in their parents’ home.
Millennials also prefer to spend their money on a desirable experience rather than buying something of value. They also tend to have less wealth than their parents did at this age.
Members of this generation are also more likely to be self-employed than previous generations. Many millennials work freelance, which means they don’t have access to employer-sponsored health plans. Overall, they’re more likely to be uninsured compared with older generations. Around 16% of millennials lack health insurance, compared to just 8% of baby boomers.
Millennials and Healthcare
Now that you have a better idea of the kinds of patients you’ll be treating over the next few decades, let’s dive into what millennials expect out of the U.S. healthcare system. As a care provider or facility administrator, catering to the needs and preferences of millennials will benefit your practice in the years to come. You can take on more patients by showing this age group you’re willing to adapt your practice as new trends come and go.
- Putting Off Healthcare
According to a recent study of 2,103 millennials between the ages of 23 to 38, one-third of respondents haven’t had a physical in the past year, and one-quarter have waited more than five years for a wellness check. However, a majority of respondents said they have a primary care provider.
Instead of going to the doctor’s office, millennials are more likely to research their condition and symptoms online compared to previous generations. The study revealed millennials trust online resources to diagnose their symptoms and often supplement physicians’ advice with their own online research.
- Digital Consultations and Appointments
With so many digital devices at their disposal, it’s no surprise that millennials prefer seeing their doctor online instead of in-person. According to the same study, two-thirds of millennials would not see a doctor who wasn’t online, and nearly half would prefer having a digital doctor’s appointment rather than traveling to an office.
- Insurance Preferences
Of those that have health insurance, this age group is looking to keep their healthcare expenses as low as possible, which means insurance plans with high deductibles and low monthly premiums. With limited health coverage, around 45% of respondents said they put off getting treatment for health issues.
Unfortunately, millennials aren’t saving for catastrophes; 65% of millennials are not saving for medical emergencies, and those that are save less than $100 per month. A serious accident or health condition could easily ruin an individual’s finances, especially if they have an insurance plan with a high deductible or no insurance at all.
- Retail Healthcare and Urgent Care Clinics
Millennials aren’t looking to wait around for healthcare. If they’re feeling under the weather, they want to be treated right away. When seeking care, around 34% prefer retail clinics and 24% prefer acute care clinics compared to general practitioners. Think of it as healthcare-on-demand.
- Upfront Estimates
This generation is notoriously cautious with their money, at least when it comes to healthcare. 41% of millennials say they request and receive estimates before undergoing medical treatment, which is over twice the rate of baby boomers.
As you can see, millennials have their own way of seeking medical treatment. If you’re looking to reach out to new patients and expand your practice, consider offering online consultation services. You can also post medical information on your website, so patients can research their health online before making an appointment. Reduce wait times as much as possible and encourage your patients to come in for regular visits. It’s often cheaper to get a check-up than putting off medical care for years at a time.
Keep these ideas in mind to bring more millennials to your practice.