Many Millennials Underestimate Health Care Spending

Do millennials understand how much health insurance costs? A new survey suggests that many do not realize how high their expenses could grow.

An Aflac study of 5,000 employees across the United States found that those between the ages of 18 and 36 are the most likely to underestimate how much they will have to spend on health care. This includes the cost of insurance for both medical illnesses and injuries, as well as out-of-pocket costs. As it turns out, many are not prepared for how high these expenses can grow. The survey found that 65 percent said they could not afford an unexpected expense of $1,000.

If many young workers don't understand the health care costs they may soon face, it's a big problem for both them and their employers. As they enter the full-time workforce, they'll be tasked with choosing the health insurance plans that work best for them.

Some may opt for high-deductible plans paired up with heath savings accounts, which may be well-suited for those who are young, generally healthy and do not expect to consume many health care services in the next few years. The survey also found that young people are more likely to consider non-traditional arrangements, such as crowdsourcing to pay their bills. However, there is a risk that both of these options may fail to protect beneficiaries from high out-of-pocket costs.

It doesn't bode well for employers if young workers choose health insurance plans without fully understanding whether they will meet their specific needs. A plan that is a poor fit may prevent millennials from getting the health care that they need, which will in turn negatively impact their job performance and satisfaction.

Groh & Associates specializes in helping employers and health plans create short, educational videos on specific resources, services and tools for managing health benefits. Check us out at