Millennial Mental Health and Finances

By: Greenwald Research
6/15/2023 Read more

Millennials Report Higher Need for Mental Health Services, Heightened Financial Stress

Nearly 4 in 5 Saw a Professional Provider in the Past Year, Survey Finds

 

Washington, DC (June 15, 2023) – Millennials are not in the best of health – physically or mentally – and insurance companies need to make improvements in the delivery of mental health services to head off a potential crisis, a new survey by Greenwald Research finds.

The just-released Millennial Mental Health and Finances survey shows that Millennials rate their own health worse than the national average, are overly stressed money worries, and are delaying treatment for physical and mental health problems because of financial concerns.

“Mental health, physical health and finances are intrinsically linked,” says Greenwald Research Chief Research Officer Lisa Weber-Raley. “Millennials’ mental health needs are high, and there are clear ways health insurers can aid Millennials, who are a key part of their customer base. At a minimum, insurers should broaden their in-network mental health resources and make their websites easier to navigate so those resources are easier to find. Not only will they be benefitting Millennials, but themselves and the broader health care industry.”

Pandemic-induced social and professional isolation and disruptions have sparked a national conversation about mental health care. Demand for services has increased – especially among younger generations – while we’re facing a nationwide shortage of mental health providers. Greenwald Research surveyed 543 privately insured Millennials to better understand their need for mental health care, the barriers they face in accessing that care, and how paying for those services impacts them financially.

Key findings from the survey include:

  • Millennials rate their own health worse than the national average. Just 44% of respondents rate their overall health as excellent or very good, compared to 52% of the overall population.
  • What’s worse, millennials rate their mental health as worse than their physical health. Nearly 1 in 3 (32%) say their mental health is fair or poor. That’s twice as many who say their overall health is fair or poor.
  • Millennials’ need for mental health care is high: 55% report they have needed mental health services in the past year. An even higher number – 79% — actually saw a mental health professional in the last year.
  • 95% say their mental health provider being covered by their health insurance is important so that care will be more affordable. This preference is especially strong among women, who tend to have lower salaries than men.
  • 66% of Millennials rely on their health insurer’s website to find a mental health professional, but those with the greatest need say it’s difficult to navigate those websites, so they are less likely to access help.
  • The majority of privately insured Millennials feel financially insecure and are carrying significant credit card, mortgage and other debt. A whopping 71% of the survey respondents say thinking about finances causes a great deal of stress and 68% say they have very little money left after monthly expenses. 51% say they’ve delayed physical and mental health care visits over the past year for purely financial reasons.

Delaying mental health care leads to a number of problems, including less-than-effective trips to urgent care or emergency rooms in the short term and high-cost claims when those health problems can no longer be ignored.

“At 26 to 41 years of age, Millennials are still relatively young, but the oldest among them are entering middle age and the higher costs associated with old age health care are just around the corner,” Weber-Raley says. “High-cost claims could skyrocket in the next few decades if left unchecked. Helping Millennials access behavioral and mental health care could help insurance companies control the cost of care for decades to come.”

The full Millennial Mental Health and Finances survey is available online at https://greenwaldresearch.com/millennial-mental-health.

 

About Greenwald Research

Greenwald Research is a leading independent custom research firm and consulting partner to the health and wealth industries that applies creative quantitative and qualitative methods to produce knowledge that helps companies stay competitive and navigate industry change. By leveraging deep subject matter expertise and a trusted consultative approach, Greenwald offers comprehensive services for weaving rich research stories that answer strategic business questions. For 33 years, Greenwald has partnered with the Employee Benefits Research Institute to conduct the annual Retirement Confidence Survey.

 

Contacts:

Herb Perone
herbperone@gmail.com
301-512-7636

Quinncee Payne
quinnceepayne@greenwaldresearch.com
202-686-0300

Survey: Americans’ Optimism About Living Comfortably Through Retirement Declines

Eroding Account Asset Values, Inflation, Market Volatility, Recession Fears Fuel Concerns

 

Washington, DC (April 27, 2022) – American workers’ and retirees’ confidence about financing a comfortable retirement has dropped significantly over the last year, returning to levels last seen in 2018, the 2023 Retirement Confidence Survey finds.

The last time the survey recorded a decline of this magnitude was in 2008, during the global financial crisis. Read more

Retirement Plan Investment Options: Is Crypto Next?

By: Greenwald Research

4/17/2023 Read more

18th Annual Consumer Engagement in Health Care Survey Finds Despite Choices, Enrollees Not Spending Time on Health Plan Decisions

(Washington, D.C.) – Results from the 18th Annual Consumer Engagement in Health Care Survey (CEHCS) were published today by the Employee Benefit Research Institute and Greenwald Research.  The survey, taken during open enrollment season in the fall of 2022, found that most enrollees spent less than an hour on their health plan during open enrollment, despite having plan choices.

Top findings in the 2022 survey included:

  • Most enrollees do not spend a lot of time on health plan choice. Most enrollees spent less than an hour on their health plan during open enrollment.  High deductible health plan (HDHP) enrollees spend more time than traditional plan enrollees.  About 1 in 5 privately insured Americans were automatically re-enrolled, though just 16% of high-deductible plan owners report they had passive enrollment.  HDHP enrollees were more likely than traditional plan enrollees to use employer-provided tools to pick their health plan. Fifty-eight percent of HDHP enrollees used their annual employee benefits guide and 41% used their online portal, compared with 38% and 29% among traditional plan enrollees.
  • Many People Have a Choice of Health Plans. About 6 in 10 individuals reported that they have a choice of health plan. HDHP enrollees were more likely than traditional plan enrollees to report that they had a choice. Twenty-nine percent of HDHP enrollees reported that they had 3 health plans to choose from, compared with 17% among traditional plan enrollees.
  • Certain Aspects of Health Plans Are More Important Than Others. When it comes to their health plan, most people thought that the following aspects were very or somewhat important: the network of health care providers, low out-of-pocket costs, low premiums, prescription drug coverage and simple to understand. Generally, traditional plan enrollees and HDHP enrollees ranked these aspects of health care in the same order with one exception: Traditional plan enrollees reported that low out-of-pocket costs for doctor’s visits were more important.
  • Rise in Consumer Directed Health Plan Enrollment Resumed in 2022 While HDHP Enrollment Continues Decline. Enrollment in health savings account (HSA)-eligible health plans and health reimbursement arrangements reached a record high in 2020 with 19% enrolled in such a plan.  Enrollment in such plans fell to 18% in 2021.  It increased back up to 19% in 2022. Enrollment in health plans with high deductibles that were not eligible to be paired with an HSA fell from 15% to 12% between 2020 and 2022.
  • Most Enrollees Feel Financially Secure. Eight in 10 enrollees reported feeling financially secure. HDHP enrollees were slightly more likely than traditional plan enrollees to report feeling financially secure.  Nearly one-third of enrollees reported that premiums and out-of-pocket costs have increased in the past year. HDHP enrollees were more likely than traditional plan enrollees to report higher out-of-pocket costs.  Higher health care costs have impacted many aspects of personal finances, such as other spending and use of medical services.
  • Coverage of Preventive Care for Chronic Conditions Impacted Choice of HDHP. While 37% of HDHP enrollees reported that their health plan covers preventive care for chronic conditions before they reach their health plan deductible, about the same amount did not know if their plan covered such preventive care.
  • Traditional Plan Enrollees Likely to Choose HDHP If Preventive Care Were Covered. One-quarter of traditional plan enrollees reported being extremely or very likely to select an HDHP if it covered preventive care for chronic conditions before they reach their deductible. Another 39% reported being somewhat likely to select an HDHP if such preventive care were covered pre-deductible.

“Open enrollment is the time of year when employees get to evaluate their plan options,” explained Paul Fronstin, director, Health Research Benefits, EBRI.  “Employees should consider the trade-offs between premiums and cost sharing when making health plan decisions.

The 2022 CEHCS is a survey of privately insured adults conducted by the EBRI and Greenwald Research.  It provides reliable national data on the growth of consumer-driven health plans and high-deductible health plans and the impact on the behavior and attitudes of health care consumers.  The 2022 survey of 2,015 individuals, ages 21 to 64, was conducted using an online research panel from Oct. 17 to Nov. 20, 2022.

“Those especially with chronic conditions should pay careful attention as we see employers both enhancing and cutting back on health benefits,” said Lisa Weber-Raley, chief research officer, Greenwald Research.

View the complete 2022 CEHCS 35-page PowerPoint summary.

Organizations supporting the 2022 CEHCS include Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, HealthEquity, Inc., Millennium Trust Company, Segal, TIAA, UMB Financial and Voya Financial.

Greenwald Research is a leading independent custom research and consulting partner to the health and wealth industries that applies creative quantitative and qualitative methods to produce knowledge that helps companies stay competitive and navigate industry change.  For more information, visit www.greenwaldresearch.com.

The Employee Benefit Research Institute is a non-profit, independent and unbiased research organization that provides the most authoritative and objective information about critical issues relating to employee benefit programs in the United States.  For more information, visit www.ebri.org.

Ongoing Economic Challenges Increase Interest in Lifetime Income Options in DC Plans

New Study Shows Most Plan Sponsors Open to Income Options Despite Significant Concerns

 

WASHINGTON, DC – January 26, 2023 – After a year of confusing and sometimes unpredictable economic twists and turns, a growing number of defined contribution retirement plan participants want guaranteed lifetime income options in their employer-sponsored plans, a new study by Greenwald Research shows. Read more

Bringing Back the Pension?

By: Eric Sondergeld
1/24/2023
Read more

2022 Workplace Wellness Survey Report Finds 80% of Employees Have a Problematic Level of Debt, Including Credit Card, Medical and Student Loan Debt

– Three in Four Workers Agree That Their Employers Have a Responsibility to Make Sure Employees are Mentally and Physically Well –

(Washington, D.C.) – Major findings from the 2022 Workplace Wellness Survey published today by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) and Greenwald Research report that most employees are concerned about their household’s financial well-being and most employees describe their level of debt as a problem.  Employees also agree that their employers have a responsibility to ensure they are physically, emotionally and financially well, but fewer than half rate their employer’s efforts highly in these areas.

The Workplace Wellness Survey examines worker attitudes towards employment-based benefits in the workplace, as well as a broad spectrum of financial well-being, employment-based health insurance and retirement benefit issues.

Key highlights from the 2022 Workplace Wellness Survey report include:

  • Most employees are concerned about their household’s financial well-being and the overwhelming majority describes their level of debt as a problem. Six in ten employees (60%) are at least moderately concerned about their household’s financial well-being, which has increased by 11 points since 2021 (49%). About half of employees are concerned about their emotional (50%) and physical (48%) well-being.
  • Employees agree that their employers have a responsibility to ensure they are physically, emotionally and financially well, but fewer than half rate their employer’s efforts highly in these areas. Three in four employees agree that their employers have a responsibility to make sure employees are mentally healthy and emotionally well (77%) and healthy and physically well (74%). Two thirds (66%) feel the same about their employer’s responsibility to ensure employees are financially secure and well.
  • Health insurance and retirement savings plans are the most common employee benefits and are the top benefits for employee retention/recruitment and their financial security. Four in ten employees (44%) are extremely or very satisfied with their benefits package, which has decreased by 7 points since 2021 (51%).
  • Most employees have a high level of understanding about their health benefits and half rate their employer’s communications about health benefits highly. Half of employees (52%) rate their employer’s communications about health insurance and health care as excellent or very good. Less than half (47%) rate communications about online resources about benefits at the same level.
  • Workplace flexibility, work-life balance, paid time off and leave benefits are important to employees. Most feel tele-working has positively impacted their well-being. Four in ten employees (39%) describe the work-life balance at their company as excellent or very good, which has decreased significantly since 2021. Another 36% rate it as good and 25% rate it as fair or poor.
  • Most employees agree that balancing work and caregiving is challenging, but few employees report access to caregiving benefits. A quarter of employees (24%) report their employer offers subsidized/complimentary child or daycare. Among those with access, 65% of employees have used it. Among those without access, 44% are interested in having the benefit available.
  • Half of employees are satisfied with their current retirement benefits and most are satisfied with the contributions received from their employer. Seven in ten employees (70%) say they are currently offered a retirement savings plan. Half of employees (51%) are extremely or very satisfied with their current retirement benefits and nearly six in ten (58%) understand their retirement benefits extremely or very well.
  • Fewer than half of employees say they are offered a financial wellness program at work. When offered, six in ten employees have participated. Over four in ten employees (45%) say their employer offers the opportunity to participate in a financial wellness program.
  • Most employees feel mental health wellness programs have become more important in the past year and most are interested in mental health resources and expanded benefits. Four in ten employees (45%) rate their employer’s communications about mental health and work-life balance as excellent or very good over the past year.
  • Most employees remain satisfied with their current job despite decreases in satisfaction with their benefits package and work-life balance. Six in ten employees (59%) are extremely or very satisfied with their current job, which is consistent with the 2021 findings (60%).

“This is the third year of the Workplace Wellness Survey and probably the most meaningful survey report where workplace flexibility, work-life balance, paid time off and leave benefits have become major critical factors for employees,” said Paul Fronstin, director, Health Benefits Research, EBRI.

“In recent years, key metrics like job satisfaction, benefits satisfaction and ratings of work/life balance have remained fairly consistent.  It’s important to note the declines measured this year in overall benefits satisfaction and in ratings of work-life balance, which contrast with stable job satisfaction, and the belief that remote work has improved well-being and underscore the need for employers to ramp up well-being efforts,” said Lisa Greenwald, president & CEO, Greenwald Research.

For this year’s survey, a total of 1,518 American full-time and part-time workers ages 21-64 were interviewed.  Within this national audience — 1,014 workers and an oversample of 504 LGBTQ workers completed surveys — bringing the total to 605 LGBTQ workers.  Information for the survey was gathered through 20-minute online interviews conducted from July 13-29, 2022.  Data was weighted by race, age, gender, income and LGBTQ status to reflect employed Americans ages 21-64.  The margin of error for the total sample of current workers in this study is +/- approximately 2.5%.

To review the complete 14-page 2022 Workplace Wellness Survey presentation, visit www.ebri.org/health/Workplace-Wellness-Survey.

 

The 2022 Workplace Wellness Survey was conducted through the financial support of AARP, Cigna, Edelman Financial Engines, Fidelity Investments, Human Rights Campaign, Mercer, Morgan Stanley, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, OneAmerica, Unum and Voya Financial.
Greenwald Research is a leading independent custom research and consulting partner to the health and wealth industries that applies creative quantitative and qualitative methods to produce knowledge that helps companies stay competitive and navigate industry change.  For further information, visit www.greenwaldresearch.com.

The Employee Benefit Research Institute is a non-profit, independent and unbiased resource organization that provides the most authoritative and object information about critical issues relating employee benefit programs in the United States.  For more information, visit www.ebri.org.

For more information:

Lisa Greenwald, lisagreenwald@greenwaldresearch.com

Ron Dresner, dresner@ebri.org

 

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Stocks Shown on Phone

Survey: Market Optimism Has Nosedived, Pessimism Has Skyrocketed – for Investors and Financial Professionals Alike

Washington, DC (October 4, 2022) – Rapidly rising numbers of financial consumers – and the financial professionals who advise them – are expressing deep pessimism about the markets and the investment outlook, citing worries about the impacts of inflation, a possible recession, and global conflicts on their resources.

Read more