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A missed opportunity
for payers

Millennials: A missed opportunity for payers


Tech-savvy, digitally enabled and discerning millennials have now surpassed baby boomers as the largest living generation in the United States, well on their way to comprising the biggest group in the healthcare market.

Millennials want to use digital channels for familiar experiences, such as scheduling a doctor’s appointment. But when they are confused and overwhelmed by complex decisions, such as choosing a health plan, they expect knowledgeable live assistance right away to have their questions resolved on first contact. Insurers that deliver inconvenient experiences or poor customer service fall short on meeting millennial expectations.

Unmet millennial expectations have negatively impacted brand loyalty. Millennials have a low Net Promoter Score®.1(NPS) for insurers (-18 compared to +11 for baby boomers), and the millennial generation shows the highest rates (38 percent) of brand detraction. Willingness to recommend, translated into an NPS, is a measure of consumer loyalty and is correlated with revenue growth. If healthcare organizations don’t change to meet millennial expectations, they risk losing the opportunity to engage this large and growing segment of healthcare consumers.


1Satmetrix: Net Promoter Score: The Basics


Customer service and convenience are critical to millennials—and they will switch insurance if their expectations are not met.

Service is so important to millennials that they are willing to sacrifice price to receive better convenience. Nearly half (47 percent) of millennials who switched issuers answered “resolved my issue(s) on first contact” as something that could have been done differently to keep them as a customer. Only 15 percent of baby boomers would switch for the same reason.

Millennials expect their questions to be answered, and they are frustrated when that is not the case. In fact, “Member service representatives who aren’t knowledgeable” is a reason for 37 percent of millennials to switch insurers, compared to just 3 percent of baby boomers. In general, millennials feel they aren’t getting the service they deserve. Only 32 percent of millennials feel they are treated well in the healthcare system, compared to 51 percent of baby boomers.



Creating digitally enabled, convenient and high quality customer experiences will help health plans to appeal to millennial desires, without sacrificing the needs of baby boomers. However, strides must be made across the entire customer journey to turn brand detractors into brand promoters. Next steps for insurers should include:


Improve the shopping experience by educating millennials, helping them to understand the options, prices and respective benefits of health plans. Provide responsive, live support to make it easier to get answers.


Ensure consistency and seamlessness between on- and off-line sales channels. Hone your product portfolio to offer distinct, meaningful options. Clear and distinctive choices allow millennials to understand how one plan differs from another.


Provide convenient care options that make it easier for members to use their plan benefits, including choosing a healthcare facility, provider or treatment. Enable digital capabilities for common tasks, such as appointment scheduling.


Give members the right answer the first time when it comes to claims, benefits and billing questions. Make it easy for members to use intuitive digital channels to get questions answered, but also offer easy access to a live person, when needed.


Millennials will rate or share their experience, whether it is good or bad. Allow them the means to provide that feedback within your solutions, or they will find other outlets.



Accenture conducted an online survey of 6,178 healthcare consumers over 18 years of age in the United States. Respondents included insured (group, individual, Medicare, and Medicaid) and uninsured. The research aimed to understand healthcare consumer needs, expectations, and behaviors and was conducted between December 2015 and January 2016.


Jean-Pierre Stephan

Jean-Pierre Stephan
Managing Director
Health Front Office and Customers & Channels

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Phil Poley

Phil Poley
Managing Director

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Loren McCaghy

Loren McCaghy

Director of Consumer
Engagement and Product Insight

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