Now that Millennials are dominating the workforce and have more purchasing power than ever, their need for guidance on health insurance presents a huge opportunity for brokers.
Nearly 30 percent of Millennials have never had employer-based health insurance, writes Caroline Spiezio for Employee Benefit Adviser. A slightly larger number—about a third—“are not at all or not very informed about the health insurance options available to them, including some who currently are insured,” she writes, citing research from the Transamerica Center for Health Studies.
In addition, those born between 1980 and 1997 may still be looking to older influential figures in their lives to get information about insurance, writes Elizabeth Whitman for the International Business Times. “Daunted by the task of shopping for plans, comparing them and generally making decisions about their health, most Millennials — 64 percent — turned to their mothers or stepmothers with questions about health information,” she writes, also citing Transamerica Center for Health Studies’ research. “They also relied heavily on the internet, with 27 percent saying they turned to sites like WebMD and another 27 percent saying they often used search engines like Google.”
Brokers can build long-term relationships with Millennials, but will need to adjust their offerings and communication styles to reach them, writes Robin Gelburd for the Institute of HeathCare Consumerism. “Millennials are open to new ideas and ways of doing things,” she writes. “With guidance, they will likely take advantage of the online tools they use in other aspects of their lives to learn about their health care needs and choices.”
Brokers should build informational content meant to be consumed via smartphones and shared.
“Meet them where they live,” Gelburd writes. “Develop interactive, visual and user-generated educational content designed for mobile devices. Millennials who find this information helpful will share it with their friends through social media.”
And, keep it simple. “Millennials often watch ten-second videos and communicate in 140 characters or less,” Gelburd writes. “They are generally well-educated and consume mountains of information, just in briefer formats than past generations.”
While Millennials are known for their comparison-shopping ways, your guidance can help cut through a plethora of options, Jonathan Rickert writes for Employee Benefit News. “For advisers, providing a guided shopping experience that supports personalized, informed choices can be a huge value-add,” Rickert writes.
Brokers might also think about pointing Millennials toward private health insurance exchanges.
“These online marketplaces allow employers and insurers to adapt to the needs of Millennials by providing choices, instant access, and education tools in what has become a familiar consumer shopping environment,” he writes.
The work will be worth it, Rickert believes: “Advisers who are eager to build member-for-life relationships need to be in touch with consumers on an ongoing basis to educate, recommend and delight.”