New Survey Finds Millennials Most Likely to Rely on Mom for Health Information

LOS ANGELES, June 7, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — A new survey commissioned by the national non-profit Transamerica Center for Health Studies (TCHS) shows the percentage of uninsured millennials has declined to 11 percent – an all-time low for this population – however, more than half of millennials (54 percent) have been diagnosed with a health condition. The most common health conditions that millennials are facing include depression (17 percent), weight issues (15 percent overweight and 7 percent obesity) and anxiety disorders (14 percent).

This study, conducted in March through April 2016, by Harris Poll found that among 1,171 adults ages 18-36:

Healthcare Decision-Making and Affordability
Among millennials who rely on family/friends for health information, their mother or step-mother (64 percent) prominently outranks any other family member, including dad or step-father (36 percent). Further, 26 percent of millennials rely on their spouse, partner or significant other.

One survey respondent, Mindy Hanson, who is age 32 and a stay-at-home mom from Des Moines, Iowa, leans heavily on her mom, who is in the insurance industry, as her primary source of health information. She goes straight to her mom with all insurance-related questions and any medical issues concerning her children.

“We have seen health initiatives using mother figures as the hook, such as the Massachusetts Exchange healthcare campaign and other health groups encouraging parents to talk to their adult children about healthcare choices. Our study confirms this approach may work since moms still top the list for millennials,” said Hector De La Torre, Executive Director of Transamerica Center for Health Studies.

When asked what characteristics of the healthcare system today are most important to them, millennials’ most common response is being able to afford the care they need (37 percent). Seven in ten millennials say cost is a very important factor when looking for healthcare. Sixty-six percent of millennials feel a premium at or above $200 per month is unaffordable and nearly half (47percent) of millennials admit to minimizing healthcare costs by skipping care.

“The price of insurance today is crazy and it just keeps rising,” said Paul Yeager, age 30, a special education teacher in Washington D.C. “We pay for the most basic health plan and it’s almost $200 every pay period, plus co-pay costs keep increasing.”

Disease Prevention Knowledge Compared to Insurance Smarts
More millennials feel informed about how to prevent disease than the health insurance options available to them. Only 27 percent of millennials are very informed about the health insurance options available to them, while 35 percent are very informed about how to prevent disease.

“Fewer than four in ten millennials have comparison shopped for insurance,” said De La Torre. “Going the extra mile to research resources that help break down insurance options and costs can pay off in making better healthcare choices for you and your pocket.”

Other key findings from the TCHS millennial healthcare study include:

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The survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of the Transamerica Center for Health Studies. The general population survey was a self-administered online survey among 1,171 U.S. millennial adults (those born between 1980 and 1997). All surveys were conducted in English. Figures for education, age by gender, region, employment status and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them in line with the population of U.S. residents born between 1980 and 1997 (based on March 2015 CPS), separately by race (Black/African American, Latino, and All Other), and ultimately combined into a total millennial population sample. Our weighting algorithm also included a propensity score which allows us to adjust for attitudinal and behavioral differences between those who are online versus those who are not, those who join online panels versus those who do not and those who responded to this survey versus those who did not. The survey was fielded March 14 through April 6, 2016.

Transamerica Center for Health Studies® (TCHS) is a division of the Transamerica Institute®, a nonprofit, private foundation. TCHS researches and creates materials to educate consumers and employers to help them make decisions about health coverage and health and wellness. TCHS is focused on empowering consumers and employers so they can achieve the best value and protection from their health coverage, as well as the best outcomes in their personal health and wellness. Through its broad-based analysis and research findings, TCHS offers consumers and employers a guide to navigate the financial implications of the healthcare decisions they are facing. 

Katie Fitzpatrick


SOURCE Transamerica Center for Health Studies

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