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Millennials Think the Healthcare System within the United States is Flawed

Laura Criscione 
As we all know, in the recent years it has been difficult for millennials to find jobs in this job market. Not having a steady job to fall back on results in their wavering views on healthcare. For one, this generation is the “worry” generation. They worry a lot more than their parents did regarding access to affordable healthcare. “An alarming 73% of millennials living in urban areas say that they worry about having access to necessary healthcare.” [1] Research has shown that millennials are the most “cost conscious generation when it comes to healthcare-with the majority of respondents listing cost as a top consideration when selecting a healthcare provider and 50 percent even delaying treatment due to cost.” [2]

Healthcare can be extremely expensive, not to mention confusing, which does not persuade millennials to get involved with it. They would rather hold off going to the doctor for a stomach ache than paying more money than they originally assumed. Millennials are more likely to self-diagnose themselves by googling their symptoms on WebMD or talking to friends and family first before scheduling any kind of appointment. [3] According to a 2014 study by C Space, 28 percent say they self-diagnose and 36 percent say they would treat themselves at home, even before seeing a doctor. Public health officials say that these habits could not only jeopardize young people’s health, but potentially increase healthcare costs over the long run. [4]

In addition to asking friends for medical advice or self-diagnosing, millennials are focusing in preventive care to stay away from the doctor. They are more accepting of natural remedies and healing alternatives compared to any other generations. These young adults want to focus their time and energy into staying healthy for long-term purposes.

They see healthcare as taking care of their bodies and preventing them from getting sick, in lieu of taking prescription medication and running to the doctor every time there is a small issue. Millennials are more inclined to incorporating CAM (complementary and alternative medicine) into their daily lives. CAM involves things such as massages, meditation, yoga, acupuncture and plant-based and herbal supplements. [5] They are also trying new food recipes and cleanses while changing up their exercise regimes. This type of lifestyle focuses on a holistic approach to living healthier lives, preventing illness, and keeping the doctor away.

Millennials think the healthcare system within the United States is flawed. They believe it is “purposely geared toward the sickest and oldest, and structured to profit from their treatment. They want a system of health that balances resources for the young and healthy with compassionate care for the elderly and sick.” [6] Millennials want a system that pays for “mind-body therapies, embraces healthy food, clean air and spirituality as central elements alongside medicines...They want a system wherein preventive health and primary care is holistic, widely accessible, and respected as a reflection of a community’s core values.” They also want it to be simplified and accessible to everyone; it shouldn’t be a privilege but rather a right. [7]

Millennials believe it is more efficient to take care of their own body daily to reduce the number of doctor visits, therefore improving their overall health. This lifestyle change would allow millennials to live longer and healthier lives.


By: Laura Criscione
Commerce Magazine
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SOURCES:
[1] Gerber, Zach, and Kit Shea. "The Worried Well." Millennial Mindset: Healthcare Marketing to Millennials (2014). Web. 15 Mar. 2016.
[2] "Fifty Percent of Millennials Have Delayed Healthcare Treatment Due to Cost, According to Research from Xerox." BusinessWire. 29 Feb. 2016. Web. 15 Mar. 2016.
[3] Gerber, Zach, and Kit Shea. "The Worried Well."
[4] Whitman, Elizabeth. "Healthcare 2015: Why Millennials Avoid Seeing Doctors And What This Means For Rising Healthcare Costs." International Business Times. 26 Aug. 2015. Web. 15 Mar. 2016.
[5] "Millennials Support Holistic Wellness More Than Other Generations." Diets in Review. 17 June 2014. Web. 15 Mar. 2016.
[6] Keckley, Paul. "What Do Millennials Want from the Healthcare System?" The Health Care Blog. 18 Mar. 2014. Web. 15 Mar. 2016.
[7] Keckley, Paul. "What Do Millennials Want from the Healthcare System?"

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