Digital Natives Disrupting Healthcare

Millennial Healthcare Preferences Are A Departure From The Status Quo

Less Insured, Less Satisfied, and Visit the Doctor Less

Transamerica Center for Health Studies report shows how younger consumers are disrupting the traditional process of learning about and obtaining healthcare

LOS ANGELES, May 14, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — As Millennials overtake the Baby Boomers as the largest generation according to the U.S. Census Bureau, national nonprofit Transamerica Center for Health Studies® (TCHS) released today new research showing how Millennials are shaking up traditional healthcare.

The new report titled Millennials: Digital Natives Disrupting Healthcare Trends, analyzes a representative sample of 1,172 Millennials from its 6th Annual TCHS Consumer Healthcare Survey conducted in 2018. The analysis focuses on Millennials’ access to health insurance, how they use and make decisions regarding healthcare, and general trends in their health and wellness. The analysis also provides comparisons with Generation X (Gen X) and Baby Boomers (Boomers).

Millennials (16 percent) are more likely to be uninsured compared with the older generations (12 percent of Gen X and 8 percent of Boomers), an increasing trend since 2016. When asked why they lack insurance, 60 percent of uninsured Millennials say it is too expensive. More than the older generations, uninsured Millennials say that they do not have time to acquire coverage.

One in five Millennials (21 percent) are not satisfied with the quality of the healthcare system they have access to—a dissatisfaction that has increased each year since 2016. This dissatisfaction, coupled with limited finances, may contribute to their reporting less frequent visits to their doctor’s office in the past 12 months compared with older generations. They are also more likely than older generations to use online sources to gather information about their health, health insurance, and healthcare providers.

Finding It Online…

“Millennials use online resources more often than seeking expertise from physicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals,” says Hector De La Torre, executive director of TCHS. “An overdependence on the internet can be harmful – both in misinformation and misinterpreted information. Every patient is different, so Millennials should not rely solely on generic outside information.”

Healthcare policy is another issue that attracts more Millennial attention than that of older generations. More than half are concerned (57 percent “extremely” or “very” concerned) about the healthcare policy changes in Washington D.C. Their biggest fear among potential policy changes is losing healthcare because of a preexisting condition (29 percent).

Millennials do not shy away from mental health and alternative care options. In the past twelve months, Millennials are more likely to have one or more mental health visits compared with older generations. Millennials report chiropractic visits or massage therapy (19 percent) and acupuncture visits (13 percent).

“Looking to the future, Millennials are adapting how they access healthcare and are open to different healthcare options, while remaining wary of losing their health coverage,” says De La Torre. “With one in five saying they cannot afford routine healthcare expenses, Millennials are seeking stability in the form of employer-based health coverage.”

Health & Wellness Programs

Employers also appear to be helping their millennial employees by providing health and wellness programs, and Millennials are more receptive to such efforts than older employees are.

Despite their concerns, Millennials report the highest levels of health and wellness compared with older generations. Millennials have a positive view of their own health, with 80 percent rating their health as excellent or good. More than half of Millennials (55 percent) say their current, most important health-related priority is “staying healthy and covering basic preventive healthcare expenses.”

An overdependence on the internet can be harmful - both in misinformation and misinterpreted information. Every patient is different, so Millennials should not rely solely on generic outside information...

As Millennials grow older and increase their economic power and impact on American society, they will continue to disrupt healthcare. Given the sheer size of their generation, Millennials will demand that the healthcare industry understand and address their distinct needs. By doing so, Millennials will also have an effect on how healthcare services are delivered to all generations.

For more detailed research findings, please view the full report, Millennials: Digital Natives Disrupting Healthcare and Whitepaper.




About the 6th Annual TCHS Consumer Healthcare Survey
The analysis contained in Millennials: Digital Natives Disrupting Healthcare, was prepared internally by the research team at Transamerica Center for Health Studies® (TCHS). The results of the study – conducted by The Harris Poll via a self-administered online survey among a nationally representative sample of 3,604 US adults (ages 18-64 including Gen Z (18-21) n=267, Millennials (22-38) n=1,172, Gen X (39-53) n=1,003, Boomers (54-64) n=1,162) in August 2018 – represent the sixth annual survey from TCHS. Figures for education, age by gender, region and household income were weighted where necessary to align them with the population of US residents ages 18 to 64, then separately by race, and combined into a total General Population sample. A separate weight was created for US residents ages 18-64 who are currently uninsured, as well as for age and ethnicity. A separate weight was created for Millennials and Generation Z to ensure representativeness. A full methodology is available in the report.
All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, The Harris Poll avoids the words “margin of error” as they are misleading. All that calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.
Transamerica Center for Health Studies® (TCHS) – a division of Transamerica Institute ® (TI) – is focused on empowering consumers and employers to achieve the best value and protection from their health coverage, as well as the best outcomes in their personal health and wellness. TCHS engages with the American public through national surveys, its website, research findings and consumer guidance. TCHS also collaborates with healthcare experts and organizations that are equally focused on health coverage and personal health and wellness. TI is a nonprofit, private foundation funded by contributions from Transamerica Life Insurance Company and its affiliates, as well as unaffiliated third parties. None of the contributors are major medical insurers. TCHS and TI and their representatives cannot give ERISA, tax, or legal advice, and TCHS is not an agent of any government agency including, but not limited to, state or federal health benefit Exchanges. This material is provided for informational purposes only. TCHS and its representatives are not registered brokers, navigators, applicant assistors, or promoters. Although care has been taken in preparing this material and presenting it accurately, TCHS disclaims any express or implied warranty as to the accuracy of any material contained herein and any liability with respect to it. For more information, please visit TCHS at