millennials healthcare

What healthcare means to millennials

millennials healthcare

Millennials and the Changing Face of Healthcare

Sep 19, 2023
As the largest living generation in America, millennials are shaping trends across industries—and healthcare is no exception. Numbering over 72 million strong, this demographic cohort born between 1981 and 1996 now finds itself in the crucial childbearing years, and career-building stage of life. How millennials view and utilize healthcare will impact the system for decades to come.

Millennials Prioritize Preventative Care

With unprecedented access to health information online, millennials are more proactive than previous generations about their wellness. A 2017 survey found that 59% of millennials rate preventative care as a high priority. This demographic is particularly concerned with mental health, nutrition, fitness and chronic disease prevention. Millennials understand that small lifestyle changes like eating healthier, reducing stress and exercising can have major impacts on long-term health outcomes and quality of life. As a result, millennials have driven increased demand for services like nutrition counselling, wellness coaching, meditation apps and fitness trackers that support preventative health habits.

The Rise of Telehealth

Technology has transformed how millennials access healthcare, with telehealth on the rise. A 2018 study found that millennials are 3.5 times more likely than baby boomers to use virtual care. With busy careers and families, millennials appreciate the convenience of video or phone visits that save time spent travelling to physical offices. During the COVID-19 pandemic, telehealth usage skyrocketed as people sought care from the safety of their homes. Even with restrictions lifting, 66% of millennials now say they will continue using telehealth for minor issues going forward due to positive experiences. As a result, telehealth startups are booming and major providers are expanding their virtual care offerings to meet millennials’ preferences for convenient, digital healthcare.

Millennials and the Mental Health Revolution

While previous generations struggled with mental health stigma, millennials are more comfortable openly discussing emotional well-being. A 2020 survey found that 86% of millennials consider mental health just as important as physical health. Millennials are 2.5 times more likely to seek counseling or therapy compared to baby boomers. This demographic has helped normalize mental healthcare utilization and advanced destigmatization. Millennials also drive the demand for innovative mental health solutions like online support groups and meditation apps. The mental health revolution led by millennials’ prioritization is improving access and outcomes for all generations.

The Future of Millennials and Healthcare

As millennials age and have children of their own, their healthcare priorities and utilization patterns will continue to influence the system. This generation values preventative care, mental health support, holistic wellness and digital convenience above all else. Healthcare providers will need to adapt by expanding telehealth options, integrating behavioral services and focusing on whole-person care, education and lifestyle programming. Employers are already responding by offering more robust wellness benefits focused on prevention. If current trends continue, millennials will drive a fundamental shift towards proactive, technology-enabled and holistic models of healthcare that keep populations healthier and costs lower in the long run. Only time will tell exactly how millennials change the face of American healthcare, but their impact is already being felt across the industry.

The Rise of Holistic, Integrative Care

In addition to preventative care and mental health, millennials are particularly interested in holistic, integrative approaches. A 2019 study found that 73% of millennials prefer complementary therapies like acupuncture, chiropractic care and massage in addition to traditional medicine. This demographic understands that overall well-being depends on care of the whole person, including mind, body and spirit. As a result, the self-care and holistic health industries have boomed in recent years due to millennials’ interests. Integrative practices that consider emotional, environmental and lifestyle factors beyond physical symptoms align with millennials’ priorities of preventative care and wellness optimization.

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