The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic sparked an increased awareness and interest in one’s health and wellness, especially among Millennials. For instance, the Deloitte Global 2021 Millennial and Gen Z Survey revealed that healthcare and disease prevention is one of the top five greatest concerns for Millennials. However, adults ages 19 to 34 had the highest uninsured rates in the country in 2020, making it critical that health insurers appeal to Millennials and Gen Zers, to attract and engage the next wave of consumers.

Increased health insurance information can help inform uninsured Millennials or new members

Insurers should offer a range of educational resources to ensure a wide reach and educate newer or less informed members. A poll from GetInsured surveyed consumers ages 24 to 40 about health insurance and found that one third of respondents were unaware of the Affordable Care Act marketplace. More than half of these individuals did not know about money-saving tax credits, pointing to a lack of critical knowledge about shopping for health insurance. Furthermore, 30% of respondents felt that shopping on the marketplace was too difficult to understand.

Insurers should respond to these findings by producing educational materials with basic yet critical information to help inform uninsured Millennials.

In addition to producing educational resources, insurers should make sure they are distributing information through the right channels. According to Corporate Insight’s recent survey, Millennials are more likely to gather health insurance information from various sources, unlike older generations. In addition to online research and using resources provided by insurers, Millennials would reach out to insurance agents, friends, family and employers. Health insurers can therefore appeal to Millennials indirectly, with resources designed for employers, agents and public users, to increase knowledge about shopping for health plans and ways to save money on insurance.

This graph shows that Millenials are more like to get health information from a wide variety of sources when compared to other generations
Millennials Obtain Health Insurance Information through Multiple Sources

Millennials highly value digital health and wellness resources

Younger generations tend to look for educational resources on their insurers’ sites to improve their lifestyle and habits. Among our survey respondents, 65% of Millennials found digital health and wellness centers to be important, a larger percentage than other generations. Even before the pandemic, Millennials and Gen Zers tended to purchase items related to health and wellness, pointing to the high demand for these products. Insurers should take this as a sign to ramp up such offerings to keep young members engaged.

This graph shows that Millennials value health and wellness more than other generations
Millennials Value Health and Wellness Centers More Than Older Generations

In line with this finding is the rise of podcast consumption among this demographic. A recent survey from YPulse, a youth marketing research company, found that 62% of consumers ages 13 to 39 listen to podcasts, with 26% listening to podcasts weekly. While podcasts began to grow in popularity pre-pandemic partially due to Millennials, social distancing and self-isolation influenced the spike in consumption. However, only three firms in our Health Plan Monitor coverage set offer podcasts and audio segments on their public or member sites. Notably, Kaiser Permanente offers a plethora of public site podcasts and audio meditations to help consumers care for and improve their health. To appeal to Millennials, insurers should consider adding and investing in such resources or partnering with third-party vendors to do so.

This image shows health insurance podcasts available on Kaiser Permanente's public website
Kaiser Permanente Public Site Podcast

Health insurers can use mobile apps to appeal to Millennials

Another trend we identified in our survey is that Millennials tend to engage with their insurer via mobile app more than any other age cohort. Fifty-four percent of Millennials used their insurer’s mobile apps in the past six months while only 10% of Boomers did. Although websites are still the main interaction channel, our survey found increasing mobile app engagement driven by Millennials in 2021 compared to 2019. This does not come as a surprise, as a Nielsen study found that smartphone owners in the U.S. ages 25 to 24 spend an average of 35 hours and 40 minutes per month on their mobile devices.

Health insurers should take this as a sign to boost their mobile app’s features and functionalities, as the healthcare mobile app user experience (UX) will continue to only grow in importance. Our survey identified several activities commonly used on mobile apps but not desktops, such as contacting a health professional or member services, interacting with chat tools, using care and cost tools, and setting alerts. By boosting the capabilities and features of such services, insurers can appeal more to mobile app users. Furthermore, Millennials are extremely familiar with easy-to-use mobile platforms like Gmail and Amazon.com, which sets high user expectations for health insurer apps.

As firms continue to enhance websites, users may now expect an equally functional experience on the mobile app.

This graph shows that certain activities are more commonly used on mobile apps for healthcare
Certain Activities Are More Commonly Used on Mobile Apps than Websites

Our survey also found that compared to other generations, Millennials are more comfortable accessing personal health information (PHI) on their mobile devices. Firms should look to offer PHI on member mobile apps, expand existing content, and allow members to update information whenever necessary. UnitedHealthcare stands out for offering ample pieces of health information on its mobile app, including the member’s COVID-19 vaccination status, care team history, immunizations, procedures and visits. Members can conveniently view all past medical events on the centralized Timeline screen. A wide range of features offer support and help members interact with their health record, like FAQs and tooltips, filters to refine results, and a customer service phone number for questions about the data.

These three screenshots show United Healthcare's mobile app's health records, including COVID-19 vaccination status
UnitedHealthcare Member Mobile App – Health Record Screens

Corporate Insight continues to closely monitor the digital user experience across leading health plans. As insurers respond to constant changes in the healthcare industry, we see that the best UX comes from firms that quickly track trends and adopt best practices. Read more about creating the best healthcare UX here and look to our blog for further insights on the nation’s leading healthcare firms.

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Stephanie Chan
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