Millennial consumers choose healthcare brands

How Generation Y chooses their care providers

In this, the last post in my series on healthcare consumers, I’ll look at the way members of Generation Y or the Millennial Generation make healthcare decisions. I spoke with a young family member, my wife’s niece Kate, to demonstrate how her generation makes care decisions.


Millennial care decisions start online

Kate is a 25-year old artist living in Brooklyn, NY. She started our conversation by saying that her health insurance coverage determined some of her provider and care decisions. Here are her answers to the four questions I asked each of the other generations:

  • How do you decide where to go for a medical procedure or tests?
    Kate told me she starts with a Google search, followed by online reviews and recommendations from friends. Ultimately, she will choose providers who are part of her health insurance network, but relies on online search and her social network for input. Her independence from physician referrals defines how Millennial healthcare consumer differ from care seekers in previous generations.
  • How would you choose a specialist?
    In contrast to her first answer (and Millennial behavior in general), Kate said she would rely on her primary care provider for specialist referrals.
  • Where would you go for health information?
    The Internet was the first source of information Kate named, but she added that she would also ask her doctor about conditions or treatment options.
  • Do you pay attention to healthcare advertising?
    Without hesitation, Kate said,“no.” It clearly wasn’t relevant to her lifestyle or experience.

Overall, Kate’s answers reflected the habits of the Millennial Generation for online research and self-directed care decisions. Because they are still young (20-30 years old), they have comparatively low utilization of healthcare services, but marketers will need to change the way they communicate to remain relevant and engage this audience segment.

What’s your strategy to attract Millennial generation healthcare consumers? Share your experiences and ideas in the comment fields below.

To learn more about each generation’s healthcare decision process, check out the latest issue of Protocol, titled “Understanding Healthcare Consumers.”

Related posts:

The Greatest Generation as healthcare consumers

Baby Boomers as healthcare consumers

Generation X as healthcare consumers