Chart evaluating current generational healthcare trends.

Generational diversity can serve as one of the greatest assets to a company, no matter the size. Employees of different ages and walks of life bring unique viewpoints to the table, helping to increase innovation and fuel creative problem-solving.

Right now, there are four main generations active in today’s workforce:

  • Generation Z

  • Millennials

  • Generation X

  • Baby Boomers

Each of these groups has its own set of unique needs and wants that they look for and expect from their Employer. Why? As we age, our priorities around how we live, work and play tend to change. Nowhere is this more evident than in healthcare. Different generations of workers have different expectations and concerns when it comes to their health. Where one person may be interested in in-person doctor visits, another may only want the ease of virtual appointments.

Growing research has found that Employee benefits packages are an important way to attract new workers and keep current employees happy - in fact, more than a third of Employees report benefits as amongst their top considerations before taking a new job. If an Employer wants to cultivate an environment that attracts and retains a multigenerational workforce, it is important that they are aware of what different generations expect from their healthcare plans.

Although emerging trends like telemedicine are growing in popularity amongst digital native generations like millennials (1981–1996) and Generation Z (1997-2012), older workers like Baby Boomers (1946 – 1964) still value face-to-face meetings over technological advances. As a Broker, it is important to educate yourself on current generational differences and trends in order to keep your Small Groups informed.

Keep reading to explore a few different ways you can help your Small Groups expand their benefits to attract and retain a multigenerational workforce.


Fertility Benefits

Historically, benefits to support fertility and family-building have only been offered by a small percentage of employer-sponsored health care plans. Over the past few years, however, there has been notable growth in Employer-covered IVF and other fertility services, and with good reason. With the average cost of one cycle of IVF ranging anywhere from $12,000 to $17,000, younger generations no longer hope for fertility benefits, they expect it.

Driven primarily by the need to stay competitive to recruit and retain top talent, more and more Employers are exploring fertility coverage, from egg freezing to in vitro fertilization (IVF). A recent survey found that Millennial and Generation Z Employees actively look for fertility benefits when job hunting. In fact, 77% of respondents said that they would stay at a company if it offered fertility benefits, and a large majority of them, 88%, said they would even consider changing jobs for better fertility benefits.


Digital Healthcare

Today, digital healthcare solutions are more widely available than ever before. With 70% of insurers offering telemedicine services for simple health issues like colds and rashes, and 61% utilizing the same technology to treat significant issues like diabetes, technology has revolutionized the way people receive care.

Many reports and industry experts focus telemedicine implementation toward the Millennial Generation. While the use of technology may not be as intuitive to them as it is to digital native generations, Boomers are actually the ones that are the most likely to have used electronic health records in the last year. Recent stats show that Boomers are ready and willing to embrace technology to help them manage their health:

  • 71% of seniors reported they would use telemedicine for after-hours appointments

  • 63% said they would use technology to get daily support to manage an ongoing health issue

  • 59% said they would attend a virtual class about a specific condition they have

  • 48% said they would be willing to use technology to discuss a specific health concern with a doctor or other healthcare provider

As Boomers age and continue to thrive in the workplace, telehealth and remote care technologies will be the key to helping deliver appropriate care while keeping coverage costs under control.


Behavioral Health

In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, behavioral health has been one of the biggest growth areas in the health care ecosystem. In fact, according to a Wellable Labs survey, 90% of Employers reported that they would be increasing their investment in mental health programs including mindfulness or meditation programs, stress management classes, and more.

No matter the generation, mental health education and support are becoming an increasing priority. In one study, researchers found mental illnesses like depression, stress and anxiety to be just as debilitating as some organic medical diseases like arthritis. If they want to attract and maintain their workforce, Employers need to create an environment that promotes mental well-being and provides access to behavioral health resources and benefits.

Although significant differences in opinions towards mental health exist across various generations, there is solid evidence that offering behavioral health benefits to Employees can help the entire workforce from a mental health perspective.


Stay Ahead of the Trends

At FormFire, we believe information is power. That is why we prioritize keeping our Brokers up to date on the latest health insurance industry news, policies and trends. If you’re looking for ways to stay informed and help your Small Groups attract the next generation of workers, contact us. Our Quote to Close software simplifies the enrollment process so you can focus on what matters most: serving your clients.