EBRI Issue Brief

Consumer Engagement in Health Care Among Millennials, Baby Boomers, and Generation X: Findings from the 2017 Consumer Engagement in Health Care Survey

Mar 5, 2018 15  pages


Executive Summary

The EBRI/Greenwald & Associates Consumer Engagement in Health Care Survey (CEHCS) is an online survey that examines issues surrounding consumer-driven health care, including the cost of insurance, the cost of care, satisfaction with health care, satisfaction with health care plans, reasons for choosing a plan, and sources of health information. It is co-sponsored by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) and Greenwald & Associates, with support from seven private organizations. 

The 2017 survey was conducted online Aug. 10 to Sept. 1, 2017, using the Ipsos’ consumer panel. Over 3,560 adults ages 21?64 who had health insurance provided through an employer, purchased directly from a carrier, or purchased through a government exchange participated in the survey. However, most survey participants (82 percent) received coverage through an employer. The sample was weighted to reflect the actual proportions in the population ages 21– 64 with private, health-insurance coverage. 

This Issue Brief focuses on differences in consumer engagement in health care by generational  cohorts – i.e., Millennials, Baby Boomers, and Gen Xers.

Key findings: 

  • Millennials are more satisfied than other generational cohorts with various aspects of their health coverage. More than other generational cohorts, Millennials are satisfied with their health coverage, outpocket costs, and health plan choices.  
  • Millennials and Generation X engage with health care providers differently than Baby Boomers. Baby Boomers are more likely than Gen Xers and Millennials to have a primary care provider (PCP). Among those with a PCP, Baby Boomers are more likely than Generation X and Millennials to report that they make healthier lifestyle choices after seeing a PCP; that it is important that their PCP knows them and their medical history personally; that their PCP is aware of all of the other medical care that they receive; and that they are comfortable telling their PCP about their health issues. Both Millennials and Generation X are more likely than Baby Boomers to report that they have used a walk-in clinic.  
  • Millennials have the highest rates of wellness program participation. Millennials are nearly across the board more likely than Baby Boomers to participate in various aspects of wellness programs. They are more likely to report that they have visited an on-site clinic; made a tobacco-free pledge or participated in a smoking cessation program; participated in counseling or stress management training; participated in activity-based wellness challenges; received reimbursement for fitness club memberships; attended free seminars; and received financial wellness resources. Millennials are less likely than Baby Boomers to have completed a health risk assessment or biometric screenings.