Tag Archives: Millennials

Millennials Concerned of Out-of-Pocket Costs

Health plans that shift more up-front costs onto you are rapidly becoming the norm. But millennials don’t seem happy about taking on the risk, even in exchange for a lower price.

Millennials want their parents’ old health insurance plan. A new survey from Bankrate found that almost half of 18-to-29-year-olds prefer a health plan with a lower deductible and higher premiums—meaning millennials would rather pay more out of their paycheck every month and pay less when they go to the doctor. Compared to other age groups, millennials are the most likely to prefer plans with higher premiums.

That surprised Bankrate insurance analyst Doug Whiteman. “One would assume people in this age group were not likely to get sick, so they’d choose the cheapest possible plan just to get some insurance,” he says.

In theory, millennials are perfect candidates for high-deductible plans. The conventional wisdom is that since young and healthy people tend to have very low health-care costs, they should opt for a higher deductible and keep more of their paychecks.

If, for example, you go to the doctor only for free preventive care, switching from the average employer-sponsored traditional PPO plan to the average high-deductible health plan would save a single person $229 a year in premiums, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation’s 2014 data.

Millennials shopping in the new health insurance marketplace last year didn’t want the cheapest plans either. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, more than two-thirds of 18-to-34-year-olds chose silver plans, which have mid-level premiums and deductibles. Only 4% picked catastrophic plans, the ones with the lowest premiums and out-of-pocket limits of around $6,000.

Why are millennials choosing to pay more for health care? Turns out the “young invincibles” don’t feel so invincible after all, says Christina Postolowski, health policy manager at a youth advocacy group called—as it happens—Young Invincibles. “Millennials are risk-averse and concerned about their out-of-pocket costs if something happens to them,” Postolowski says.

To read more, click here.

Jeffrey R. Ungvary President

Jeffrey R. Ungvary

Alternate Options to Offering Paid Healthcare Benefits

The cost for companies to provide healthcare benefits is at an all-time high, according to a new Towers Watson report. In 2014, healthcare costs reached an average of $9,560 per employee, and that’s just the employer’s share.

The Affordable Healthcare Act mandates that companies with 50 or more full-time employees provide health coverage. However, small businesses and startups don’t have to take the same route.

Though this new law might make healthcare more expensive to employers, Healthcare.gov does provide many affordable options for individual and family plans. For example, if an employer does not offer coverage, the individual may be eligible for a tax credit.

Since the Affordable Healthcare Act is giving consumers more control over their own healthcare, offering healthcare as a benefit might not be as attractive as it once was. In place of providing healthcare as a benefit, consider providing these benefits instead:

1. Pay enough to help cover costs of personal plans

Though healthcare costs are rising for employers, it doesn’t necessarily mean employees will have the same experience with a personal or family plan.

2. Opportunities to work remotely

We’re entering an age where the workforce is starting to get picky. Why? It’s increasingly being flooded by millennials who grew up alongside the Internet, mobile technology and access to any information on demand from virtually anywhere.

3. More flex/vacation time

Instead of offering healthcare to supplement the medical expenses that may be incurred due to workplace stress, treat the source.

4. Creative perks to inspire innovation

By 2025, 75 percent of the workforce will be made up of millennials. Companies are going to have to make a few adjustments to ensure employee retention.

To read more, click here.

Jeffrey R. Ungvary President

Jeffrey R. Ungvary

High Number of Young Adults Signing Up For Health Insurance

The Affordable Care Act’s supporters and detractors have consistently agreed on one thing: the success or failure of the law hinges on the whether young adults, who tend to be healthier and less expensive to insure, enroll. New data released last week shows that more young people are getting health coverage, and in stunning numbers.

New U.S. Census data released last week shows that the number, and rate of young adults, who lack health insurance has fallen significantly since the Affordable Care Act became law in March 2010. An estimated 3.9 million more 18 to 34 year-olds were insured in 2013 than in 2009.

During that same time period, the rate of uninsured young adults has fallen, too, from 28.1 percent in 2009 to 25.2 percent in 2013. In just one year, — between 2012 and 2013 — the number of uninsured 18 to 34 year-olds dropped by over 367,000 people.

The new estimates don’t even include over a million young adults who signed up for health plans on their state’s Health Insurance Marketplace during Open Enrollment. That’s because the Census finished collecting this set of data at the end of 2013.

Open Enrollment started on October 1, 2013, but the vast majority of young adults — 1.7 million of the 2.2 million — signed up on state health exchanges after January 1, 2014. That’s 78 percent of enrollments that we won’t be able to account for until 2014 data gets released next fall.

While we will have to wait for further data to show the Marketplace system’s impact on youth insurance rates, the ACA implemented scores of systemic reforms to our health system that could account for more young adults getting covered. Systemic reforms that were in full effect, include: the provision allowing young adults to stay on a parent’s health plan until the age of 26, small business tax credits that provide health insurance to small business workers, new coverage options for people with pre-existing conditions, and the elimination of lifetime limits on coverage.

To read more, click here.

Jeffrey R. Ungvary President

Jeffrey R. Ungvary