By Darby Brignac
One in 3 people under 30 say they are not covered by health insurance, compared to 19 percent of Gen Xers or 12 percent of Baby Boomers.
I have to admit… I ashamedly fall into that category.
People my age don’t understand nor feel the urgency for health insurance. Why should we? Through school, we follow our parents’ plans and then conveniently sign up for employer plans once hired. We don’t like to go to the hospital unless it’s absolutely necessary. Even then, we wait till the last minute. So no big deal if we let our health insurance lapse for a month or two, right?
Health insurance covers the “what if” factor. We can pump iron and eat our vegetables, but the gym membership isn’t going to help if we need to go to the hospital after a car accident.
Let’s put this into perspective. Without insurance, the average cost for treatment a broken nose is $7,651. Non-surgical realignment alone can range from $1600 to $4500, not including the doctor fee or the x-ray charge. Good luck if you need surgery; the cost could add another $7000 or more.
That’s why this birthday, I’m asking for health insurance. As I have investigated different plans, I learned a few things that insurance companies should consider:
Insurance Is Worth a Latte
I had no idea how much health insurance costs for people my age. Nationally, the average insurance cost for individuals between 18 and 34 was less than $220 a month. Personally, my individual insurance cost less than $100 a month, which was less than my car insurance. In other words, my health insurance costs less than $3.50 per day, which is less than a Starbucks latte every morning. Health insurance, for most, is affordable. My generation must set priorities – and insurance companies shouldn’t be afraid to talk to us about the cost.
Am I Invisible?
Millennials are the second largest generation after boomers. Yet, younger people get ignored by the insurance industry. A study revealed that Gen Y received 25 percent fewer health insurance marketing direct mail pieces than their parents. As I recall, I did not receive one mailing for health insurance in college. Yet, I received hundreds of credit card applications and a couple spam pieces for life insurance, but not one mailing from a health insurance company. In fact, I still don’t receive health insurance mailings though I’m now independent. Why is no one reaching out to us?
We’re Not Exactly Hiding…
Perhaps health insurance companies don’t reach us because they are using the wrong channels. Overall, Millennials lead the other generations with online use: 95 percent go online, 96 percent use email, and 83 percent use social network sites. We’re online. Why aren’t you?
One company gets it. State Farm® created State Farm® Nation, a Facebook page incorporating funny commercials, young celebrities and a “whole page full of fail.” If they show they share interests with the younger crowd, the younger crowd will return their interest toward the company.
Unfortunately, not every Millennial is wishing for a low deductible when they blow out their candles. Insurance companies can help its youngest customers get smart about insurance. It’s about time someone reached my generation.