Millennials are coming of age, and as they reach adulthood, take on leadership roles, and have families of their own, they are also setting new trends in industry, technology, entertainment — and especially healthcare. These trends include an increased reliance on telemedicine, opting for walk-in clinics rather than trips to the emergency room, and using online platforms to research physicians and hospitals and track their medical costs.
A new survey from the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) highlights these emerging trends and compares Millennials’ healthcare decision-making to earlier generations. Based on what we know about Millennials, the results aren’t necessarily surprising, but they are significant.
Keep reading to learn more about the survey and how Canopy Health and our alliance partners are undertaking new advancements to exceed emerging demand.
New Choices in Healthcare Are Attractive to Millennials
The March issue of the Employee Benefits Research Institute’s newsletter brief includes an article discussing the results of a survey they conducted to examine “issues surrounding consumer-driven health care, satisfaction with health care plans, reasons for choosing a plan, and sources of health information.” Over a three-week period in August, the survey included 3,560 adult subjects aged 21—64 who had employer-sponsored healthcare, healthcare purchased directly from their insurance carrier, or a plan bought on a government exchange. The overwhelming majority of participants (82%) had employer-sponsored coverage, so researchers weighted the sample to reflect proportions among these age groups with private insurance.
Key findings from the study indicate that Millennials are far more likely than Baby Boomers to:
- Utilize telemedicine: 40% of Millennials compared to 19% of Baby Boomers
- Visit a walk-in clinic: 30% versus 14%
- Read doctor’s and hospital’s reviews and ratings: 51% versus 31%
- Use cost-tracking: 28% versus 10%
Millennials also have higher healthcare literacy rates than their Baby Boomer counterparts, as evidenced by their comfortability with:
- Choosing a healthcare plan: 56% versus 43%
- Comparing plans: 56% versus 46%
- The range of plans to choose from: 47% versus 32%
- The availability and affordability of plans: 46% versus 29%
Paul Fronstin, one of the authors of the study and the director of the health research and education program at EBRI believes Millennials’ superior confidence and healthcare literacy is related to their familiarity with apps and other web-based platforms: “This perhaps reflects their comfort in researching consumer decisions online, and applying the same consumer habits they use on Amazon or other retain [websites] to the health care arena.”
The study clearly suggests that healthcare providers, carriers, and networks need to focus their efforts on Millennials and their unique wants and needs. Unfortunately, this still isn’t happening on a widespread scale. Nearly 90% of organizations have prioritized improving the consumer experience, but only 30% have the resources to meet their goals. Further, while almost 60% of healthcare organizations want to improve digital tools to meet consumer demand, only about 14% are actually capable of doing so.
Thankfully, Canopy Health is going above and beyond to meet the needs of all our members, especially Millennials.
Canopy Health’s Approach to Telemedicine
We feel our members (and all healthcare consumers) deserve and should expect excellent care at the right time in the ideal setting regardless of where they live, work, or play. Therefore, all our members can access talented, experienced physicians and other medical providers from their computers, smartphones, and other devices. All they have to do is download the MyCanopyHealth app or login to the Member Portal to connect with a doctor through a Virtual Visit.
Canopy Health members experiencing common, non-emergency medical issues (such as a rash, headache, or digestive issues) can receive one-on-one video consultations with a physician in our network for a fraction of the cost of a traditional visit to an urgent care center. Since these consultations are performed in a virtual space, overhead is significantly diminished, and we then pass on the savings to our members. Telehealth services are available to all members 24/7 with no appointment necessary (which means no lines and no hassle), and their Virtual Visit doctor can even electronically send their prescriptions to their preferred pharmacy.
Canopy Health’s Alliance Has Dozens of Outpatient Care Centers
Individuals who would rather visit a physician or other medical provider in person can visit any of our outpatient care centers located across eight Bay Area counties, including the brand-new facility that just opened in Berkeley. Walk-in clinics present an excellent opportunity for injured and sick people of all ages to seek treatment with skilled doctors, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and several other medical care providers without lengthy lines or the emotional stress of visiting a hospital.
Some of the most respected healthcare systems in the Bay Area own and manage our alliance’s outpatient care centers, such as UCSF Health, John Muir Health, and the Alameda Health System. These modern facilities offer advanced technology and comfortable amenities. Many of them include diagnostic imaging services, lab processing, and even specialty care, like geriatrics, pediatrics, cardiology, and neurology. Care is often provided at significantly lower rates than an ER, and your physician can likely refer you to a specialist if you or a loved one needs advanced care.
Canopy Health Is Setting the Bar High for Healthcare in the Bay Area
Canopy Health was built on the idea that we could create an alliance to eliminate consumer frustration with healthcare in the Bay Area. We conducted numerous focus groups to identify consumers’ key issues and began assembling the necessary components to help realize our mission. Today, we’re proud to say that we are still listening to our members and doing everything we can to make their healthcare experience easier — including providing telehealth options through the MyCanopyHealth app and our Member Portal, as well as delivering excellent care at dozens of outpatient care centers across eight Bay Area counties.
Crnkovich, P. (2018). 2017 State of consumerism in healthcare. Kaufman Hall. Retrieved from https://www.kaufmanhall.com/resources/research/2017-state-consumerism-healthcare
Dretzka, E., & Fronstin, P. (2018, March 5). Consumer engagement in health care among Millennials, Baby Boomers, and Generation X: Findings from the 2017 Consumer Engagement in Health Care Survey. EBRI.