Polling American Preferences in the Digital Healthcare Space

Healthcare Writer

Updated on March 4th, 2024

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This article explores Americans’ preferences for shopping online for insurance plans, mental health treatments, healthcare research, and improvements in online healthcare experiences.

64% preferred mental health services in-person, while 25% were comfortable with telehealth.

51% expressed interest in purchasing insurance plans online, including health, pet, and travel coverage.

Across all generations, discounts on vision, hearing, and dental exams were favored most, especially those born between 1928-1964.

40%, mostly younger generations, seek healthcare information online, while 36%, mainly older generations, consult their doctors for guidance.

When researching healthcare providers and procedures, 47% seek pricing before their medical appointments. That’s according to a Survey Monkey poll of over 1,000 U.S. adults conducted on May 8, 2023. 

Medical Research Choices Among Different Generations

Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964) predominantly consult doctors (42%) for health topics, while Gen Z (born 1997-2012) equally prefers social media and family (17% each). Gen X (born 1965-1980) lean towards the internet (47%), and Millennials (born 1981-1996) diversify between the internet, social media, and doctors. 

Improving Online Healthcare Experiences

When asked what would enhance their online healthcare experience, 44% of the Silent Generation (those born 1928-1945), Baby Boomers (37%), and Gen X (32%) prioritize discounts on vision, hearing, and dental exams.

Meanwhile, Millennials value discounts (18%) and a concierge service for appointments (13%). Gen Z shows similar preferences, with 24% wanting the same discounts and 14% a concierge service.

Additionally, 23% preferred a personalized artificial Intelligence (AI) search portal to find providers based on their location and reviews. 

Insurance Plan Shopping Preferences 

Over half (51%) expressed interest in purchasing insurance plans online, including health, pet, and travel coverage

 The Silent Generation is hesitant, with 56% being unlikely. While Baby Boomers (38%), Gen X (44%), Millennials (64%), and Gen Z (58%) are likely to explore and purchase these types of plans online.

Contrarily, 49% preferred a research-first and alternative shopping approach.

Telehealth Vs. In-Person Mental Health Treatments

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated telehealth for mental care, increasing the accessibility and delivery of mental health services and allowing people to seek support remotely.  

The Silent Generation (86%) and Baby Boomers (79%) strongly prefer in-person mental health treatments. Gen X leans similarly at 66%. However, Millennials and Gen Z are nearly split, with 49% and 51%, respectively, preferring in-person sessions.

Conclusion & Findings

The survey findings show younger generations favor online insurance research and shopping, while the overall preference leans toward in-person healthcare appointments. Discounts on vision, hearing, and dental exams are universally favored, with younger generations relying on digital sources, while older generations trust their doctors for healthcare guidance.


Healthcare.com conducted this survey utilizing a SurveyMonkey Audience on May 8, 2023, among a national sample of 1,056 U.S. adults ages 18 and up. The modeled error estimate for this survey is plus or minus 2.0 percentage points. The sample was balanced for age, gender, and U.S. Region according to the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey.

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