Half Of Millennials Put Off Health Issue Over Costs

A new study revealed that millennials are shying away from traditional physicians for any health issues and opting to treat ailments with the internet of all things.

To learn more about the millennial state of healthcare in 2019, Harmony Healthcare IT surveyed 2,000 young adults between the ages of 23 and 38 years old. The study revealed nearly half of millennials (45 percent) say they’ve been putting off a health issue, and more than half have delayed seeking treatment for more than six months.

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One of the reasons young adults could be putting off medical care is their insurance. Harmony Healthcare IT found that most millennials (57 percent) prefer high deductible insurance plans to keep their monthly premiums down low. Beyond that, two-thirds are not putting away anything in their savings in the event they have a medical emergency or unexpected medical debt.

Instead, the vast majority of millennials (73 percent) say they search for medical advice online rather than going to see a doctor in person. The top places millennials seek out medical advice include WebMD, online news articles, YouTube, and Reddit. Nearly half believe these online resources to be accurate, and 93 percent supplement their doctor’s opinion with their own independent Googling.

Most millennials are foregoing regular physicals from a general practitioner. The study revealed 25 percent of millennials haven’t seen a general physician for an annual wellness check in one to two years, 38 percent have waited longer than two years, and 24 percent have waited longer than five years to get a checkup. When asked why, millennials said they felt healthy (41 percent), were too busy to get to the doctor (39 percent), found it inconvenient (31 percent), or just don’t have a primary care physician of their own (24 percent).

When millennials do decide to seek medical treatment or get a physical examination, they’re choosing their doctors primarily through the internet. Roughly on third of millennials say they find doctors via their insurance’s own online portal, and 21 percent say they go off online reviews. Another 29 percent rely on family members’ referrals to find a physician, while 11 percent turn to friends for advice.

Respondents seem comfortable with the prospect of getting medical advice from doctors via technology. Nearly half said they would rather see a doctor virtually than take the time to go to a doctor’s office to seek treatment. Is cost to blame?

Only one in three millennials said they regularly set aside savings for a health issue or medical emergency. And of those who say they are saving, 51 percent say they’re saving less than $100 each month.