On the Horizon of a Healthcare Insurance Evolution

This is part 2 of a 2 part series.

In the first part of this series, we reviewed a survey by the GenRe Life Corporation that asked employees of various ages what their thoughts and perceptions were about the health insurance exchanges. We focused particularly on millennials, who identified technology and savings on healthcare plans as primary levels of interest for the exchanges, compared to other age levels that participated in the survey. In summary:

  • 60% of millennials think favorably of the health insurance exchanges
  • Technology is the primary way of making the health insurance exchanges less overwhelming to millennials
  • Millennials were the least likely to research their healthcare options; 50% of them would ask the advice of family or friends
  • 62% of millennials don’t believe their employer will stop offering health insurance as a company benefit, whereas only 44% of 51-60 year olds are confident that their employer will continue to keep health insurance coverage in the future.

As the old saying goes, “With age, comes wisdom.”

The highly anticipated 2015 Internet Trends report released by Mary Meeker on May 25 outlined the global growth of technology trends, jobs and new forms of connectivity and commerce. In the middle of the 196-page report, outlining job and employee trends, Ms. Meeker pointed to the source of health insurance plans from 1999-2013 with data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Since 2000, the number of employer-sponsored health insurance plans has declined nearly every year, while the number of individuals directly purchasing healthcare plans has ticked upwards. Data since the Affordable Care Act passed is not yet available, but there’s every reason to believe this trend continued in 2014.

Perhaps millennials shouldn’t be so overly confident about the future of their employer health insurance plan.

Another highlight of the Meeker report was the coming trend of industries to come, where the Internet’s impact was both high and relatively low. It came as no surprise the Internet has conquered the consumer and business space. The areas where there is room to build enterprise online is in education, healthcare and government, all which have room to catch up with the consumer and business sectors. TechCrunch analysis pointed to the huge opportunities for entrepreneurs in the three lagging sectors due to internal regulation. If the sectors are too big and slow to initiate change on their own, there’s room for bright ideas of innovation to infiltrate.

Employer-sponsored health insurance won’t disappear overnight, but all trends are pointing a wave of change in the healthcare industry.

Colleen McGuire

About Colleen McGuire

Colleen McGuire is an independent consultant who has spent most of her career writing about healthcare and the health insurance industry. For fun she blogs, travels and takes a lot of pictures along the way.