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Millennials have unique relationship with health insurance coverage

Health Care and Health Insurance
by Kevin Ruggeberg
Basic health insurance mistakes can lead to huge costs
Basic health insurance mistakes can lead to huge costs

The way many people engage with their health insurance coverage has changed a lot in the last few years, especially as more people who never had it before enroll in plans. One group that seems to be more engaged than ever with health insurance is young adults, and the way they navigate the ins and outs of coverage seems to differ greatly from the preferences of previous generations.

While baby boomers are most likely to be extremely or very satisfied with their coverage, more than half of millennials (54 percent) fall into this same category, just ahead of those born in Generation X, according to a new survey from the Employee Benefit Research Institute. In addition, some two-thirds of millennials also say they're very or extremely satisfied with the quality of care they receive through those plans.

Interestingly, these young adults were far happier with the out-of-pocket costs they face than older generations, with 58 percent expressing high levels of satisfaction when it comes to prescription drug costs. Only half of boomers and Gen Xers felt the same way. Likewise, 48 percent of young adults say they're similarly happy with the costs for other medical services, while only 40 percent in older generations felt the same way.

On the other hand, only 69 percent of millennials and Gen Xers were at least very satisfied with their choice of doctors, compared with 74 percent of boomers, the data showed. Similarly, 68 percent of boomers say they like how easy it is to book a doctor's appointment, versus 63 percent of millennials and 62 percent of those in Gen X. The good news, though, is that millennials tend to be far more proactive about examining their health insurance options and choosing a plan that works for them.

Millennials are now more aware of what makes for good health insurance coverage.Millennials are now more aware of what makes for good health insurance coverage.

More aware of the benefits
Indeed, one of the big changes in the past few years has been the fact that millennials now seem to have a better idea of what strong health insurance benefits can mean in their everyday lives. To that end, about 35 percent of millennials will now turn down job offers they receive if the health insurance and other insurance-related benefits associated with the position does not meet their standards, according to a recent survey from Anthem. Among adults overall, that number was just 27 percent.

Some ways to go
However, many experts in a number of fields say that millennials likely have more to learn about how health insurance can work for them most effectively. As such, outreach efforts are now underway to help them better understand their options and what they can do to put themselves in better positions overall, according to CBS Miami. With this in mind, many millennials are turning to adult education classes that teach them everything from health insurance awareness to basic financial management plans.

In general, the more young adults can do to better educate themselves about their options for health insurance and other aspects of their finances, the better off they're likely to be in life. Health insurance providers can also play a vital role here, doing more to help people understand whatever benefits are available to them and find coverage that most closely meets their unique financial and health care needs in the long term.

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