Unhappy with State of American Healthcare, Millennials Find New Roads to Wellness

Less than half of Millennials consider regular checkups or health insurance to be part of maintaining their overall health and wellness

Nov 17, 2014, 11:26 ET from Communispace

BOSTON, Nov. 17, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Communispace, a global consultancy transforming how the world's best-known brands collaborate with consumers, today announced the results of a new study "Healthcare Without Borders: How Millennials are Reshaping Health and Wellness." As political, financial, and technological forces combine to remake the healthcare landscape, Millennials are highly dissatisfied with the current state of healthcare in America. As a result, today's young adults have developed alternative approaches to managing their health and wellness. The study reveals that:

  • Millennials blame institutions for healthcare failings: 49% of Millennials say the government is most responsible for problems with the healthcare system, followed by 26% who say health insurance companies are the most responsible. A full two-thirds of Millennials (and 71% of non-Millennials) agree that insurers have too much power. Overall, Millennials are more likely to express mixed feelings about the Affordable Care Act's impact on themselves, the people around them, and the country as a whole (34% of Millennials vs. 26% of non-Millennials say it has been both good and bad for the country).
  • Millennials are reluctant to engage with the traditional healthcare system: Only 55% of Millennials (vs 73% of non-Millennials) said they would go see a doctor right away if they discovered a lump on their neck, while 38% would wait and see if it went away or got worse. Even if they do end up going to the doctor, they are more likely than non-Millennials to self-diagnose their condition (28%) or treat at home (36%) before doing so.
  • Millennials are redefining what health and wellness means: Less than half of Millennials consider regular medical (44%) and dental (46%) checkups, health insurance (47%), vaccinations (39%), medication adherence (37%), routine self-exams (32%), and routine cancer screenings (23%) to be part of maintaining their overall health and wellness. But 49% consider maintaining a work/life balance to be part of staying healthy, ranking it higher than all of the above items. About one quarter say that unplugging from technology is part of overall health and wellness, compared to only 16% of non-Millennials, while 55% agree that a healthy mind leads to a healthy body, not the other way around.

"Brands must meet consumers where they are," said study author Katrina Lerman, senior researcher at Communispace. "Healthcare is no longer something confined to the traditional channels of the hospital and the doctor's office.  It's happening in a discussion with a friend over coffee, an online search in the drugstore, or a lunchtime yoga class. Brands that can internalize and integrate these new Millennial values have the opportunity to partner with consumers to create the healthcare future we all want to see."

"Millennials are not only the healthcare consumers of the future, but – as many continue to or begin caring for their aging parents – the present as well," said Corey Schwartz, managing director of Communispace Health. "For brands seeking their business in traditional health sectors and beyond, it is critical to work with, not against, their unique set of healthcare values by embracing institutional aversion and self-reliance, providing tools for empowerment and connection, and expanding your own notions of health and wellness."


Communispace conducted an online survey of 1,507 consumers (1,004 Millennials and 503 non-Millennials) during September 2014, as well as qualitative explorations with an additional 615 consumers (297 Millennials, 318 non-Millennials).

About Communispace

Communispace is a global consultancy transforming how the world's best-known brands across all industries collaborate with consumers to accelerate business growth. From private online communities to unique storytelling capabilities, immersion events and innovation projects, the Communispace approach is designed to solve clients' most pressing business needs - by working in partnership with customers, employees, stakeholders, and those who matter most to a company's success.

Communispace Health is a business unit dedicated to helping health care providers, insurers and pharmaceutical companies build working partnerships with physicians, patients, and caregivers to create better outcomes through collaboration.

Headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, Communispace has other U.S. offices in Atlanta, Chicago, New York, and San Francisco, and global offices in Amsterdam, London, Mexico City, Paris, São Paulo, Shanghai, and Sydney.  To learn more about Communispace, please visit www.communispace.com. Communispace is a part of the DAS Group of Companies, a division of Omnicom Group Inc. (NYSE: OMC)

About The DAS Group of Companies

The DAS Group of Companies, a division of Omnicom Group Inc. (NYSE: OMC) (www.omnicomgroup.com), is a global group of marketing services companies. DAS includes over 200 companies in the following marketing disciplines: specialty, PR, healthcare, CRM, events, promotional marketing, branding and research. Operating through a combination of networks and regional organizations, DAS serves international, regional, national and local clients through more than 700 offices in 71 countries.

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SOURCE Communispace