Survey Reveals Millennials’ Relationship with Health Care
From hot yoga to juicing, it’s no secret that millennials love wellness. In fact, the generation has often been referred to as the “wellness generation.” And while staying in shape is a crucial component to overall health, there are still many other key factors to maintaining health such as annual physicals and getting medical advice from a professional.
But how often are millennials getting a check-up and how many actually have a primary care physician? As a health data management firm interested in the state of millennial health, we surveyed more than 2,000 millennials between the ages of 23 and 38. Here’s what we found.
Putting Off Health Issues
One of the worst things you can do when a health issue arises is ignore it, or delay getting answers. According to respondents, 45% have been putting off a health issue or issues. Of those, 41% have been putting a health issue on the back burner for more than a year. Chances are procrastination will only compound the issue. Seeking recommendations and answers from a professional, such as a primary care physician can prevent matters from getting worse. Thankfully, a majority of millennials said they are established with a primary care professional. According to respondents, 76% have a primary care physician and 38% have been established with one for more than two years.
However, 24% said they have gone five years or more without getting an annual physical examination and one-third have not had a physical within the last year. One of the biggest reasons millennials aren’t getting a physical exam is because they already “feel healthy,” they’re “too busy” and that going to see their physician is “not convenient,” according to respondents.
Online Medical Advice
With the advancement of technology and Google at our fingertips, it seems that more and more millennials are turning to the internet to seek medical advice. In fact, 48% of respondents said they trust online resources to accurately diagnose symptoms and a staggering 78% said they seek medical advice online rather than going to a doctor. The most popular resources millennials said they use to find medical advice include WebMD (82%), news articles (27%) and YouTube (22%).
Respondents are also comfortable seeking professional medical advice from physicians via technology. Nearly half (48%) said they would prefer to see a doctor virtually rather than in-person.
Along with convenience, keeping health care costs low was also important to millennials in our survey. Fifty-seven percent said they prefer a high-deductible insurance plan with a lower premium to keep down monthly costs. And when it comes to saving, 65% are not saving for medical emergencies, according to respondents. Of those who are saving for medical emergencies, half save less than $100 per month.
With an emphasis on convenience, low cost and technology, it will be interesting to see how this generation helps shape the future of health and how both patients and providers will adapt to those changes along the way.
In June 2019, we surveyed 2,103 millennials between the ages of 23-38. Fifty-seven percent of respondents were female and 43% were male. Of those respondents, 82% were employed or self-employed. Thirty-five percent of respondents identified as having a pre-existing medical condition.