Millennials. They were supposed to be a gold mine for the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or “ObamaCare”) — the young, healthy ones whose cost of care would be less than older generations, but whose participation would help make the system solvent.
But how do millennials feel about the ACA? Meh.
A new eMarketer report, “Healthcare Marketing to Millennials: Reaching Digital Natives in the Age of the Affordable Care Act,” indicates these young doyens of the digital age are “often frustrated by what they perceive as an opaque and outdated “analog” system of care.”
According to eMarketer’s story on the report, “The US government has made no secret that the long-term viability of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will depend upon getting millennials to enroll and stay signed up. So far, these efforts have been modestly successful.”
When Gallup-Healthways went searching for Q2 2014 data for its Well-Being Index, it did discover that the percentage of uninsured millennials had dropped several percentage points since late 2013. The stats show that 18.7 percent of 18- to 25-year-olds were uninsured (down from 23.5 percent in Q4 2013), and that 23.9 percent of 26- to 34-year-olds had no policies (down from 28.2 percent in Q4 2013).
It’s partly because millennials view health coverage differently. The February 2014 study by Pew Research Center noted that an overwhelming percentage of people in this cohort disapprove of the ACA on principle. The principle? That “health coverage for everyone” should be the government’s responsibility.
Another study, by marketing and analytics company Prophet, drilled down into the data about citizen attitudes and experiences with the ACA’s first open enrollment period, showed millennials were interested, but less engaged.
“Though perceived high cost and confusion about subsidies were sticking points, Prophet also found this group had less of a negative attitude about healthcare exchanges than its elders,” according to eMarketer.
That means they’ll be a target during the next ACA open enrollment period. Getting this generation into the exchanges would be the shot in the arm that planners of the system were expecting.