How to Make Millennials Happy With Your Health Plan

We love talking to people about their health care experiences because when we understand what people think and feel, it gives us the opportunity to make change. We also love being able to put everyday people in front of our clients (often health plan executives) to talk about their experiences with health care and health insurance, so that those executives can help make things better, too.

A couple of weeks ago, at our annual client summit, we brought in a group of millennials to chat, ask questions, and share their insights on what what’s going right in health care and health insurance – and what they think needs to improve. Here are a few of the biggest insights from the session.

Takeaway #1: Cut down on the paperwork, make information easily digestible

Three of our panelists, Ben, Ryan and Dom, shared that their experiences selecting a health plan had been mediocre and overwhelming – specifically citing all the packets, paperwork, and information involved in making a selection. When it came down to it, the information was delivered in “huge lists and with tiny words” and they just “don’t care about any of that.”

Itzel said, “What’s the difference between a general practice doctor and an ER doctor? Trying to wrap my head around my benefits, caps, and when you’re going to pay for it. Dumb it down, right now it’s super lengthy and complicated.”

Another great quote came from Lisa, “…when you get the email about what your health insurance is, you need to set aside an hour or two to understand it. It’s not like when you’re planning a visit that you can whip out your booklet to see what is covered or not. I don’t know if a provider can help you figure that out or if someone can do a flowchart of how visits work, who I can see, how much is covered, but that would be really helpful.”

In closing on this topic, we loved the advice from Ben, who requested that a specific resource packet of information be provided to millennials, versus older folks who might have families and different needs. That targeted information extends beyond the needs of millennials, but is something that could be useful to all types of members depending on their circumstance and situation in life.

Takeaway #2: They don’t do a lot of research when selecting a health plan

Some of our panelists had insurance through their employers and were given options for plans. However, the consensus was that they were often overwhelmed with information and made a quick decision based on cost. Dom said, “My parents used to make all those decisions for me and it’s not something I ever learned how to do.”

He shared his experience of signing up at work and said he listened to a presentation by his HR department and then clicked through the online process and “eenie-meenie-mynie-moed it and clicked.” He admitted to barely reading any of the information.

Takeaway #3: Yes, technology is central but they still want a human touch

According to Lisa, “When you’re sick, you almost want someone to take care of you. We want someone to say ‘I’m going to hold your hand and take care of you.’  I think online seems like a robot on the other end and they don’t know what your history is.”

The panelists emphasized being able to call and speak to a real person. It’s not all about technology! We heard several variations of the same message:

  • “I like speaking to someone directly because you get treated differently.”
  • “I did go online to go to the doctors, but I still called.”
  • I got lost in the website site so I called my customer care. I prefer calling.”
  • You want to talk to someone because you’re in pain and while you don’t want to read through tiny letters, what you care about is feeling better.”
  • “If it was easy online, things would be different. But with how many options I had to go through, it was easier just to call.”

Takeaway #4: They do have fears and they come down to cost

We also explored the biggest fears millennials have toward health care and what they think can be done to improve the situation. In this section of the discussion, it all came down to costs.

  • “My biggest fear is I’m going to need major help and I’m not going to be able to afford it. I don’t have a back-up. I worry someone willsay, ‘you’re not going to get the treatment.’
  • “Unexpected bills.”
  • “Ambulance is $2k. I do mixed martial arts and when I have a concussion, I don’t want to get into an ambulance, I’d rather take an Uber.”
  • “Having a big medical expense that’s not covered or not having met my deductible. Nobody tells you when you’re young that you’re supposed to put away money for your health. You’re supposed to put away money for your retirement, for a house, but not for your health.”

Interested in chatting with us more about what we learn in panels like these? Get in touch!