Millennials and Healthcare: The Rising Importance

The COVID-19 pandemic proved that we cannot take our healthcare for granted. There has never been a more urgent need to invest in our healthcare, not just for us, but for a healthcare system that is increasingly coming under strain. That’s a lesson for everyone, but millennials in particular. That’s why there is a need to demand employee healthcare benefits.

5W Public Relations found that investing in healthcare was not a high priority for millennials. In fact, the Consumer Culture reported that millennials were most likely to save on or cut down on healthcare costs. There are two key reasons for that: millennials think they are healthier and lower wages mean investing is harder.

As a result, there is now a huge emphasis on employee healthcare benefits, with companies being forced to step in and fill the gap. Their role is vital to recovery post-COVID, as millennials are facing a major healthcare crisis.

Why Healthcare Matters?

Millennial healthcare is a major cause of concern. A 2019 report from Blue Cross Blue Shield found that one-third of millennials have health conditions that put them on track to be one of the unhealthiest generations in United States history. Compared to Gen X, millennials are experiencing greater rates of depression and Type 2 Diabetes.

That has dangerous economic and social consequences. As millennials make up a large percentage of the modern workforce, their health is directly tied to productivity and economic output. Poor health is responsible for higher rates of absenteeism, lower productivity and higher turnover. A 2017 Deloitte report found that poor mental health is costing UK employers over $58.8 billion.

It goes to show that employers stand to lose the most from poor employee health. As a company, there has never been greater proof for the need for employee healthcare benefits. To make matters worse, millennial workers are finding it harder to invest in their own healthcare. As the 5W report said, healthcare isn’t a high priority.

The key reason being the economy. Millennials are saddled with large debts, low-paying jobs and high rates of inflation. In such a situation, saving has become near impossible, forget investing. A Life Extension survey found that more millennials (33%) are willing to put their career ahead of their health than Baby Boomers (8%) or Gen X (19%).

This is bad news not just for governments or the healthcare sector, but private companies as well. If companies want to ramp up productivity, they need to start taking employee healthcare benefits more seriously.

The Need for Employee Healthcare

Employee healthcare benefits are not just needed to help improve productivity and profits, but to help avert the coming healthcare crisis. To that end, there is some good news. Millennials are actively driving changes in the healthcare industry. From digital-first services to comprehensive healthcare plans, there is a rapid change in how healthcare is being delivered.

However, there is still the challenge of costs. Digitisation does not do much to lower medical bills. An article in The Balance estimated healthcare costs to be $147 per person in 1960, and now $11,172 per person. Medical inflation has risen faster than median annual income.

Since employees are unlikely to be able to fund those costs, they look to employers. The biggest employee healthcare benefits that are needed are cost-effective insurance premiums. Millennials employees are more likely to demand a final cost estimate before agreeing to treatment.

As an employer, it is your duty to find insurance companies with low premiums and increased coverage. It will help convince your millennial employees that you have their backs. But, a good health insurance plan alone just won’t cut it.

For the millennial employee, preventive care measures are of vital importance. They are more likely to invest in day-to-day activities like yoga, healthy diets and natural supplements believing it will pay off in the long run. They take a more holistic and comprehensive view of their healthcare, which is something your employee healthcare benefits need to reflect.

Picking the Right Healthcare Benefits

With millennials making up a large percentage of the workforce, it is of vital importance you find the right employee healthcare benefits to attract them. These need to be holistic, covering preventive care as well as hospitalization. Gym memberships are not going to be enough in a post-pandemic world.

For 2021 and beyond, you need to think about benefits like doctor teleconsultations, discounted access to health check-ups and medicines, and fitness tracking. These services are not only increasingly popular amongst millennials, but will also help them save valuable time and money. Providing such benefits will really help attract workers to your organization. There is, however, just one issue.

Most employee healthcare benefits and group health insurance plans aren’t built for small teams. You either have to pay a very high annual cost or simply aren’t eligible at all. Having little or no choice should not be acceptable in 2020. That’s why Onsurity was founded.

Onsurity provides business health plans for SMEs and startups with employee healthcare benefits like doctor teleconsultations, discounted health check-ups and medicine delivery, fitness tracking, and group health insurance by our insurance partner. We have bundled all these great benefits into a simple and economical subscription for teams of all sizes.

Our digital-first affordable employee healthcare plans will help you attract and retain your millennial workers while giving them healthcare benefits they will love to use. Everyone wins with Onsurity!

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Sneha  Nimje

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