Editor’s note: The following response is excerpted from Jonathan Rickert’s article, “How to get, and keep, millennials covered.“
Much research has been done on millennials — their habits, likes and dislikes are all well documented and understood, and they are viewed by many as powerful drivers for change. Given that distinction, here are some ways insurers, brokers and employers can adapt to attract and retain members of this key group:
1. Make it simple. Customer expectations for health insurance are being set by non-health care companies, like Amazon.com and Apple. While everyone wants choice — particularly price-sensitive millennials who grew up comparison shopping online — too many choices can be overwhelming. A 2015 study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research revealed that too many health plan options result in less rational choices by employees.
In fact, the study found that 85 percent of people would be better off if their employer offered only one plan. Hence, a guided shopping experience that supports personalized, informed choices is key.
2. Meet them where they are. The common stereotype is that millennials are attached to their smartphones and tablets 24/7. Turns out the stereotype is true. Research indicates that individuals ages 18 to 36 spend an average of 17.8 hours a day with different types of media. And among the various forms of media, social is king, with 71 percent of millennials saying they engage in social media daily. Therefore, embrace social media in marketing and ensure every touch point in the user experience can support mobile devices.
3. Education needs to happen throughout the year. Insurers 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. Millennials love videos and entertainment. Short and funny educational videos that demystify health insurance can help insurers and employers connect and inform millennial consumers throughout the year.
4. What millennials want, others want too. While millennials may be the most vocal about their preferences, other generations are interested in much of the same functionality that millennials cherish. As stated in a recent TechCrunch article: “Yes, millennials are annoying customers, but here is the irony: Everyone wants these features.” Moreover, while millennials are more likely to manage their health and healthcare needs using technology, a considerable number of older Americans are doing so as well, according to a McKinsey survey.
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