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.