Millennials are less interested in, less knowledgeable about health insurance than other generations,(Jan. 4, 2016)

Millennials are less interested in and knowledgeable about their work place benefits than are other generations, and they prefer life insurance over health insurance, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), reporting on findings from the 2015 EBRI/Greenwald & Associates Health and Voluntary Workplace Benefits Survey (WBS). Because “Millennials are the largest age group to emerge since the Baby Boom generation,” according to Paul Fronstin, director of EBRI’s Health Research and Education Program and co-author of the report, “employers will have to make adjustments to how they engage them.”

Compared to Baby Boomer and Gen Xers, Millennials were less likely to view health insurance as the most important benefit they receive at work. Millennials were also more likely to value life insurance and paid time off as their most important benefit.

Regarding preferences for obtaining health insurance, 51% of Baby Boomers, 42% of Generation Xers, and 39% of Millennials wanted their employers to continue to choose and pay for their health insurance the way they are doing now. By contrast, 34% of Baby Boomers, 39% of Generation Xers, and 42% of Millennials want to choose their health insurance, with their employers paying the same amount they currently spend toward that insurance, and with workers paying any remaining amount. Nineteen percent of both Generation X and Millennials favored having their employers give them money the employers currently spend on health insurance, leaving employees to decide whether to purchase health insurance and how much to spend. Fifteen percent of Baby Boomers liked this scenario.

Millennials were less likely than Baby Boomers and Generation Xers, says EBRI, to say that benefits offered by a potential employer are extremely important when deciding to accept or reject a job, and Millennials were the group more likely to be open to non-traditional ways of obtaining benefits. However, Millennials were also more likely to report that they do not know about their benefits, and employee benefit program participation is generally lower among Millennials than it is among Baby Boomers and Generation Xers.

SOURCE: EBRI news release, December 17, 2015.

Visit our News Library to read more news stories.