Millennials are the largest generation in the workforce — larger than Baby Boomers — and view health care very differently than other generations. Health care and employers must adapt accordingly.
To ensure we are on the same page regarding millennials, the following information is from Goldman Sachs to provide a baseline for this generation.
Millennials were generally born between 1980 and 2000 and comprise about 92 million people (versus 61 million Generation X and 77 million Baby Boomers), making them the largest generation. They want quick and easy access to services and use technology to get this access, equating to a desire of maximum convenience at lower costs.
They are not as brand loyal as other generations, as they focus more on social aspect/community goodwill, technology/access and overall value when purchasing services. The exception is health and wellness, where they are willing to invest in technology, branded and organic foods, and other items.
Millennials define health and wellness as exercising more, eating smarter and smoking less. This is different than simply “not being sick,” which is how other generations define being healthy. Health and wellness is a way of life for millennials, and they want devices such as Fitbit and Garmin, blended with comprehensive apps, with employer wellness programs to accomplish this.
This requires changes from normal employer wellness programs and health care networks. Employers must offer good wellness programs that integrate with devices and apps to easily track exercise, sleep and personal health. Holy Family Memorial has had a program like this for the past several years and can utilize the HFM RightTrack program with employers to achieve this for millennials and all employees.
In terms of convenience, while millennials don’t use health care often because they are younger and healthier, there are some items to use for recruiting and retention purposes. First is an annual biometric screening or health risk assessment (HRA). Millennials do not go to a primary care physician for annual physicals, so HRAs provide them with key information, trackable for employee and employer annually and trend analysis — and integrated with RightTrack in an app/electronic format.
A second item is Holy Family Memorial’s Health Clinic for Manitowoc Chamber members. Millennials want convenience and low cost when they do need health care. This clinic is only $99 per year and $10 per visit for primary, urgent and preventive care; as well physical therapy, wellness coaching, emotional health counseling and chronic disease management. There is not a more convenient or lower-priced health care alternative in the community.
Third is telehealth, which is becoming more common; although not used often in our community despite lower costs and easy access for only $49 for services such as HFM Right Now.
Catering health care to millennials will help employers better recruit and retain this important and large workforce; and employers, millennials and health care networks should collaborate together on health and wellness solutions to ensure needs are met.
About the author.
David Yeghiaian is the interim vice president of strategy at Holy Family Memorial. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.