Health insurance open enrollment 2021

As a health insurance Broker, you have undoubtedly recognized that now, more than ever, different generations have different expectations and priorities when it comes to their healthcare. In 2016, the World Health Organization went so far as to identify a shift in healthcare coverage from the previous “What is the matter with the patient?” mindset to a more people-centered approach of “What matters to the patient?”

While trends like telemedicine and plan comparison tools are growing in popularity among younger generations, older groups still put a higher value on relationships and reputation over technological advances. As a Broker, it is important to understand these generational differences so you can advocate for Employee needs while educating your Groups on the long-term benefit of providing their workforce inclusive healthcare options.

Generation Z (1997-2012) Healthcare Trends

Generation Z, which is anyone born between 1997 and 2012, is the largest generation in the United States and often considered the most digitally advanced. Their inherent comfort in the virtual space is reflected in their lifestyle choices, and in turn their healthcare preferences. When discussing how your Groups can better serve Gen Z, it’s important to make sure everyone understands that they don’t just want access to next-gen digital tools and software, they expect it.

The importance Gen Z puts on digital access is a reflection of their belief that convenience is king. Groups with workers born between 1997 and 2012 can improve Employee satisfaction and retention by focusing on digitizing the health insurance enrollment process. Online health data storage, streamlined quoting and side-by-side comparison shopping are all tools Groups can implement to better serve Gen Z’s desire for efficiency.

In addition to implementing efficient software to modernize Employee enrollment, Brokers should work with Groups to make sure they carry healthcare plans that include programs like virtual doctor appointments and online payment and scheduling options to further prioritize accessibility.

Millennial (1981-1996) Healthcare Trends

Like Generation Z, Millennials came of age with technology. They also grew up in a time of mounting financial pressures like the increasing costs of higher education and the decrease in affordable housing. These factors have contributed to Millennials placing a high value on price transparency and the ability to comparison shop online.

Millennials have a low use of inpatient and outpatient services, which is why they often enroll in high-deductible health plans. Comparison tools that allow Millennials to shop around and evaluate plans enable them to confidently make an informed, educated decision about the financial sustainability of their plan.

Generation X (1965-1980) Healthcare Trends

In a recent study, researchers at Ohio State University identified a notable decline in the overall physical and mental health of Generation X. The study, which was published in March 2021, indicated that Generation X exhibited poorer physical health, higher levels of unhealthy behaviors such as alcohol use and smoking and more depression and anxiety when compared to other age ranges.

Groups with a significant number of Employees born between 1965 and 1980 should concentrate on collecting Employee health information as precisely as possible in order to better identify the most comprehensive coverage options for their unique health needs.

Formfire’s Medical Health Questionnaire (MHQ) allows Brokers to systematically collect health data from Employees to help pinpoint which Carriers and plans fit their Employees’ lifestyle. Additionally, Groups may want to also explore ancillary products to help fill the gaps in traditional coverage for multi-generational workforces.

Baby Boomers (1946 – 1964) Healthcare Trends

Currently, Baby Boomers, otherwise known as Boomers, rely the most on healthcare due to their existing and developing conditions. This aging generation accounts for 26% of all doctor visits and 34% of overall prescription usage. For that reason, Boomers want to be actively engaged with their medical care. They seek counsel from medical professionals as well as insurance Brokers to help them make informed decisions about their specific insurance policies and needs.

When you boil it down, Boomers prioritize relationships. In light of this, Brokers should regularly contact their Groups and Employees to check-in and stay up to date on changes in medical conditions and significant life events. Brokers can then use this information to work alongside Boomers to find the most comprehensive care year after year. 

Health Insurance Technology Designed for Every Generation

Utilizing industry-leading technology to stay up-to-date on health insurance trends is crucial for Employers to attract and retain a multigenerational workforce. FormFire gives Brokers a competitive advantage by making benefits management faster, easier and more attractive than ever for employees.

Using FormFire’s an all-in-one online platform, our features streamline the benefits selection process from shopping for health plans to signing on the dotted line. Contact FormFire today to learn more or request a free demo to see how our system will benefit Employee-Driven Groups.