People across all age groups have varying consumer health behaviors that impact payers’ bottom line. One of the most notable tendencies of younger generations is how rarely they rely on primary care physicians. While middle-aged and older adults regularly schedule and attend check-ups, younger individuals are shying away from such practices.
This may have originally started due to health plans with high deductibles that led some to forgo having a health plan altogether. But most insurers and clinicians can agree that this trend is being perpetuated by a shortage of primary care providers. However, traditional provider networks also don’t play as big of a role in the care of younger individuals who are increasingly shifting away from typical medical establishments.
When younger adults do seek medical care, they often turn to concierge care where they can get services on their own terms without having to go through the process of obtaining a referral. They are also engaging more frequently with specialists who have a better understanding of their unique needs such as nutritionists, health coaches, and gender-specific providers.
In the same lens, their aim also tended to be more preventative in nature, so they often look for providers who can help them with a more holistic mindset. As a result, it’s not hard to understand why younger generations are finding digital health platforms to be more convenient, affordable, and accessible alternatives to the stereotypical medical office.
These habits are also leading younger generations, including millennials, to be better health advocates and request the health benefits they know they need from their employers. This is why existing brick-and-mortar health care establishments are slowly beginning to make changes that draw younger patients in and change the way everyone views places such as hospitals and doctor’s offices. Digital health is just one of many ways that health care organizations can appeal to younger generations. Greater transparency in the realm of billing is another priority for this age group.
Even though this younger generation is trending toward nontraditional health care options, they will still want coverage for services they do utilize. Insurers who wish to attract and retain healthy, young adult members will need to find ways to widen the network of reimbursable services to meet the demands of this critical demographic.