Sign in for total access to stay smart about health benefits.

Offering Great Health Benefits that Attract and Engage Millennials

Millennials (individuals born between 1981 and 1997) are the fastest-growing and largest segment of the workforce. They represent 1 out of every 3 workers.

They’re comfortable with the latest technology. They’re hungry for job experience. And they’re eager to provide fresh, new ideas in the workplace.

To compete for these in-demand employees, you’ll want to consider offering benefits that are flexible, convenient, and personalized.

What millennials want most from their health benefits

Health benefits are important to millennials. And they care about their benefits and other perks more than older generations. So, what do millennials want most?

Help understanding their benefits: Millennials, more than other generations, want help understanding their health benefits. And understanding benefits leads to greater employee satisfaction.


Source: SHRM 2015 Strategic Benefits Survey


Flexibility: Millennials grew up with a wide array of choices in almost every area of their lives. And they expect the same from their health benefits. Some employees want rich, comprehensive benefits and are willing to pay more for the extra peace of mind. Others want “just the basics.” This means that the “one size fits all” model of the past no longer makes sense for the unique needs of your employees.

Make sure you offer a wide selection of health plans to choose from, so your employees can pick what works best for them. And don’t forget about other useful benefits, such as dental, vision, and prescription drug coverage.


Easy-to-use online tools and mobile apps. As “digital natives,” millennials want an app for everything. That includes managing their health care and benefits. According to a Salesforce Poll, 71% of millennials would like to use mobile apps to book doctors’ appointments. They’re also interested in using technology to:

  • Find, choose, and review providers
  • “Comparison shop” health care services
  • Compare health insurance options
  • Visit providers via telemedicine

And other generations are seeing the value of digital health tools and resources, too — 2 out of 3 Americans say that they’re willing to use a mobile app to manage their health.


Spending accounts: Millennials are concerned not just about today’s health care expenses —they’re thinking about tomorrow’s expenses, too. They grew up during the Great Recession, so they feel a lot of financial uncertainty. They want to protect themselves against financial risks, such as health care expenses. They’re also skeptical about whether Social Security and company pension plans will be there to meet their retirement needs.

Spending accounts can help millennials save for those expenses on a pre-tax basis and flexibly manage costs as they occur. In fact, 4 out of 10 millennial employees choose qualified high-deductible plans with health savings accounts.


A holistic approach to well-being: For millennials, “wellness” is about more than maintaining healthy stats, like BMI, blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar. It’s about their total well-being — physical, emotional, and financial. Millennials want a full array of offerings that go beyond simple health screenings, including:

  • Health classes, like Yoga or Pilates
  • Employee assistance programs
  • Financial counseling
  • Discounts on gym memberships, fitness gear, weight loss programs, and other healthy products and services
  • Games and challenges focused on fitness


The right benefits can help solve millennials’ pressing issues

It’s no secret that millennials are financially challenged

  • 52% say they’re “stressed out” about their financial situation.
  • 79% say their student loans make it harder for them to meet other financial goals.

…And they’re not very informed about health insurance benefits:

  • 35% of insured millennials say they don’t understand their health insurance options.
  • 39% claim that making health plan decisions is difficult.

These challenges can keep millennials from seeking health care — 47% of millennials reported they plan to skip care entirely due to affordability concerns — which can lead to greater costs for them and you (as well as lost productivity).

This can also make it harder for you to attract quality talent. Health benefits are a key reason your employees choose to work for you.

By providing benefits that are flexible, convenient, and easy to understand and use, you’ll help your millennial employees better address these issues and lead healthier, more productive lives.


The Affordable Care Act (ACA) lets young people stay on their parents’ plans until they turn 26. Many millennials choose this option because it can be convenient and cost-effective.

But this option may not work for all millennials because:

  • They “age out” after turning 26.
  • They may live in an area where there are fewer local doctors and hospitals in their parents’ plan networks.
  • They may be married or have children and want to add their spouse/children as dependents.
  • They may not want their plan information sent to their parents’ home address.

So, take advantage of the opportunity to offer great benefits that your millennial employees will be happy to choose.