Millennials Value Health Insurance Benefits Over Pay Raises


Health insurance considered more important than data plans for smartphones among millenials.

Although millennials are known to diverge from older generations on numerous topics, a recent study by the Benenson Strategy Group revealed that this generation still values traditional healthcare coverage.

The study discovered that 86% of the 1002 millennials surveyed were insured, and a majority of these individuals considered health insurance to be a crucial benefit, even if it was not provided by an employer.

Interestingly, the authors discovered that more than half of participants received health insurance through Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplaces, their parents, or Medicaid. These findings speak to the impact of the ACA on reducing the uninsured rate among young adults.

For uninsured millennials, costs and good health were the main deterrent, according to the study. The findings highlight the need for affordable plans and outreach efforts needed to inform individuals about potential financial assistance and the benefits of being insured.

When asked to rank the importance of certain things, 85% of millennials reported that health insurance was absolutely essential. These findings were particularly interesting because health insurance outranked internet, data plans for smartphones, retirement contributions, online streaming services, TV service, entertainment, gym memberships, and dining out.

More than half of participants indicated they would rather receive more comprehensive health insurance benefits than a 10% pay raise, according to the study. Out of 9 employee benefits, such as retirement contributions and additional vacation days, a majority of millennials ranked insurance as the most important.

“Prioritizing security-oriented benefits suggests millennials take a more thoughtful and cautious view of the future than they are often credited for in the media,” said Danny Franklin, Benenson Strategy Group managing partner. “Understanding how this generation gathers information and uses medical services can help both employers and healthcare providers better communicate with millennials and serve them, particularly as their needs shift.”

Although 60% of participants were in favor of the ACA and happy with their benefits, this group is still uncertain about the future of the healthcare system.

The authors discovered that 49% believe that the healthcare system is broken, while the percentage increases with age. Approximately 54% of older millennials think it is broken, and 40% of younger millennials share this belief.

Interestingly, millennials reported that they trust physicians, nurses, and hospitals, while they expressed distrust in health insurance and pharmaceutical companies, according to the study.

Due to the potential of healthcare reform, nearly half of millennials believe that their insurance will get worse if the ACA is repealed and replaced, while 31% believe it will improve. Approximately 44% of millennials expect that replacement legislation will diminish healthcare quality, and 35% believe it will improve.

These findings show how the ACA improved coverage of millennials through various provisions, including the rule that allows young adults to remain on their parents’ health plans until age 26.

It is clear that this population fears they will lose coverage under replacement plans. If not addressed by legislators, these fears may place the marketplaces in jeopardy since younger, healthier adults can help offset costlier patients.

“Even though most millennials do not expect healthcare improvements from the Trump administration, they still place a high value on health insurance and care about what happens to the system,” Franklin concluded. “Policymakers who jeopardize millennials’ insurance options risk alienating this younger set of voters and that could carry long-term political consequences.”

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