What’s on the Horizon for Gen Z?

With our youngest generation, i.e. Gen Z, entering the workforce at an increasing rate it goes without saying they will have a big voice in what type of benefits package they prefer.  Based on a recent online study Accenture, this generation may push for change to the traditional healthcare model and are more willing to challenge the status quo.  Some trends within the survey suggest the primary care relationship is at risk, and that this generation will be looking for new ways to interact with physicians, require more transparency, and more convenient ways to access care.

One may question if this group will have enough of a voice to make a change. By 2030, Gen Z will outnumber any other generation in the workforce. As per our Are You Ready for Gen Z blog, more than 25 % of the population is Gen Z, meaning they were born after 1995. The survey still supports the most common dissatisfaction which centers on cost, but cost transparency is now giving this age-old concern a run for the money.

Based on the fact that this generation has used digital tools their entire lives it is not surprising they are much more likely to choose their providers based on whether those providers have digital tools available to access care.  While most of the burden will fall on the provider to keep pace in advancing how they deliver care, employers will need to stay abreast of new plan design features that will partner with the latest technology tools to help keep their plans current.

A new study from Deloitte Health Solutions supports this idea that this younger generation is poised to demand a new approach to healthcare. The report states consumers fit into four general categories, i.e. Trailblazers, Prospectors, Homesteaders and Bystanders.  The largest group is currently the Homesteaders, who are categorized as reserved and cautious.  This group is also the second oldest group and will be exiting the employer based healthcare market in the next decade.  While the Trailblazers make up only 16% of consumers today, in the next 10 years this generation will make up the largest percentage, and based on the study they too will be self-directed, tech savvy, and be engaged in wellness.

Employers will need to be forward thinking in the way their plans offer access to care with digital support. Telemedicine is our most recent digital advancement but consumers will be looking for more ways to schedule appointments via apps, triage their own medical symptoms through web based programs, and digital lab services, just to name a few that are already being tested in the market.

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