Understanding the importance of millennials in the benefits industry is critical to any broker’s success. Now considered the largest living generation in population (recently surpassing baby boomers), a good portion of today’s employee demographic consists of individuals that were born between the years 1980-2000. Why is this important? As the baby boomers taught us, with an influx of people this size there too will be a great change of demands that employers will have to address.
In order to meet this shift of interests we must first deduce where their priorities lie. In an article written by Employee Benefits News they suggest cost as one of the top concerns. In contrast, “self-health” remains increasingly low. “We know that financial concerns rank high for this generation. We also know millennials demonstrate less concern for their long-term health with Pew Research data showing more than triple the rate of obesity in young adults since the 1970s, and mental health in lower income adolescents becoming increasingly prevalent. Furthermore, alcohol, tobacco and substance use unfortunately remains high.”
Information like this allows us to recognize two things. Firstly, personal health & maintenance continues to decline which means having a strong health benefits package becomes exponentially more important. Second is that knowing this, benefit providers should invest more into the education of current benefits to employees that way they better understand the tools & resources they have at their disposal. In essence, you can’t utilize something you don’t know you have.
Anna Hoobler, an experienced benefits broker at SBC stated in a recent interview that “lack of employee education is one of the key obstacles employers encounter when trying to deal with a health discrepancy.” It’s evident that there is some miscommunication happening amongst business owners, workers, and health insurance producers that needs to be resolved.
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The producer is responsible for a good portion of that disconnect. How an agent conducts his/her enrollment can be the defining factor in whether or not a group of employees even understand the basics of what their employer is offering. One consideration EBN suggests is changing enrollment methods to better suit the surging tech-savvy climate. Accustom to the digital world of online applications, today’s generation no longer demands but expects an intuitive user experience that is convenient for each individual.
Targeting millennials proves beneficial to all parties. Whether it’s the producer that hopes to reach as many clients as possible, the employer that strives to retain and meet the needs of their employees, or the worker that desires the best possible coverage for themselves & their families, reestablishing the disconnect that has plagued small and large businesses alike should be a top priority.