Lack of knowledge and changing healthcare landscape impacting Millennial payments

Dec. 7, 2017

A new TransUnion Healthcare Millennial Report found that nearly six in 10 Millennials (57%) have little to no understanding of their health insurance benefits. This is significantly lower than other generations, including Gen X (50%), and Baby Boomers (41%).

The report also found that despite the vast majority of Millennials having health insurance, they tend to pay their medical bills at a slower rate than other generations. In fact, in 2016, 74% of Millennials did not pay their medical bills in full, compared to 68% for Gen X, and 60% for Baby Boomers. Yet, seven in 10 Millennials said they would pay their medical bills in full if they had the money to do so.

The TransUnion Healthcare Millennial Report reviewed a combination of proprietary TransUnion Healthcare data and information from a survey of 1,576 consumers administered in October 2017. For this analysis, Millennials are defined as consumers born between the years 1980 and 1994; Gen X are born between 1965 and 1979; and Baby Boomers are born between 1946 and 1964.

“Millennials are facing a tough road—in some ways they were placed at an early disadvantage compared to previous generations. As Millennials were just entering the workforce and likely had less disposable income, both insurers and employers began cost-shifting payments,” said Jonathan Wiik, author of the recently published book, “Healthcare Revolution: The Patient is the New Payer” and Principal for of Healthcare Strategy at TransUnion Healthcare. “Despite these challenges, our research indicates that Millennials are indeed interested in responsibly paying their medical debts, while at the same time, healthcare providers will need to get innovative to make the payment process more manageable for Millennials.”

According to the report, approximately half of Millennials (46%) would be more apt to pay their medical bills if they were provided an estimate of their healthcare costs at the point of service. Millennials also tend to have less understanding of recent trends in the healthcare space such as high deductible healthcare plans. More than ¼ of Millennials (26%) said they don’t understand high deductible plans, a higher level than Gen X (17%), and Baby Boomers (9%).

Additional findings from the TransUnion Healthcare survey include the following:

  • 35% of Millennials do not plan for medical or healthcare expenses as part of their budget.
  • 80% of Millennials do not have a Health Savings Account in which to pay for out-of-pocket expenses.
  • 37% of Millennials have private commercial health insurance.
  • 51% of Millennials do not feel prepared to manage healthcare/medical expenses; compared to 42% of Gen-Xers, and 33% of Baby Boomers.
  • 40% of Millennials compare the cost of services by healthcare provider compared to 29% of Gen-Xers, and 22% of Baby Boomers.

TransUnion Healthcare has the full release