compiled by Ashley Lopez, The Granite List Customer Success Team
As our next generation of employees and plan members, Gen Z is finally beginning to experience the pains of adulthood. Student debt, rising credit, and job security are enough to stress anyone out. On top of all that, Gen Z is beginning the journey of navigating a complicated sea of healthcare solutions that confuses even renowned benefits veterans.
No doubt, the benefits industry is filled with innovative thinkers bringing solutions to address highly specific issues. However, this can create a swarm of information that is hard to sort through, adding greater confusion for advisors and consumers of these services alike. And, it is this very reason we’re building The Granite List - allowing brokers and employers to search and source solutions that are best for their plan members.
Eager to learn more, our interns at The Granite List tuned in to BenefitsPRO Expo to see what other creative solutions exist out there to help our up-and-coming workforce. The following are their insights and advice on how to engage Gen Z in combatting these challenges. we hope you appreciate their perspective as much as the CHC leadership team does.
Tips for Engaging with Gen Z:
Tip #1: Be Transparent in Prices, Because We Want to Be Informed
We’ve all been there: You are at the doctor’s office, and the doctor is explaining your results. You try your hardest to understand, but you feel at loss trying to understand the clinical terms. So what do you do? We as Gen Z-ers aren't shy in asking questions! And, we’re also watching our parents struggle with the cost of healthcare.
For Chloe, a recent grad at the University of Memphis, her biggest realization was “that the average consumer is not aware of the costs of their hospital or doctor visits. The lack of transparency around costs is insane considering how medical bills are the main reason for bankruptcy in America.”
The challenge for us is we need the same level of clarity across the entire health continuum, especially as we understand that drug costs and unnecessary procedures account for so much of the medical plan spend under employers. It is not an intuitive industry: there are new terms coined, new platforms being formed, and new problems arising every day. It is hard to understand it all and be an educated patient. As a Gen Z-er, we will not be afraid to ask questions. We will not be afraid to ask for a second opinion or prescription drug cost comparisons. We are realizing we are entitled to receive information that is important to our well-being. It’s our hope that transparent vendors in the medical and drug space will take advantage of this opportunity by communicating prices. We will be on the receiving end eagerly awaiting that information.
We know there are companies already doing the leg work to help patients with price comparisons and transparency. As insignificant as asking a question may seem, we know as a patient it will allow us to make informed and educated decisions. We are savvy shoppers, so we look forward to helping our future employers take a bite out of healthcare costs. And, we see a way to do that by leaning toward transparency – it’s as simple as this, increase trust by being transparent about prices! (We get it, we hope you vendors out there do too.)
Tip #2: Gen Z, be honest with your employer. Transparency goes both ways!
Healthcare is expensive. Good quality healthcare, however, is not. How can this be?
Well, good healthcare is transparent and personalized. We learned that going to a highly regarded, specialized clinic can be such a low cost that many employers even rent out a five star hotel room for their employees. (Our ears perked up when we started to learn about this one. After all, we’ve been trapped at home for the past year. Not that we want to travel for illness, but it is an eye-opening concept that is definitely starting to make sense….) For our generation that needs a ticket to a medical tourism destination, we are aiming to be honest and communicative with our future employer. We understand that true centers of excellence don’t exist in every market, and unlike previous generations, we aren’t as tied to a health system or particular physician. So, we would advise employers and benefits consultants - ask your emerging plan members what they want. The better picture we paint for you of our needs and desires, the better health plan you can build for us. Essentially, it pays to be honest and we believe open dialog over simple satisfaction surveys is the way to go.
More than ever, employers are trying to find ways to increase talent recruitment and retention. We believe they are willing to invest in better healthcare plans – and that doesn’t mean more expensive - so we plan to help them out by being clear about the needs we have that will impact our time in the workforce. A few that matter to us are mental health or parental leave. (More on that next week….) Brokers and employers, build a meaningful benefits package to attract and retain employees! Wonder what it entails, think about our other modes of communication and decision making.
“Personally,” Nick, a senior at Rhodes College, says, “I want an easier, simpler administration tool, better engagement and guidance for me as the member. I want a portable, consistent solution.”
Companies exist that already have successfully designed portable, consistent solutions like the one Nick speaks of. The trick is finding the one that delivers on the promises it makes. And, that’s why we are so eager to be a part of the customer success team at The Granite List. After sitting in and listening to the challenges that brokers, employers and vendors face, we’re more convinced than ever we’re part of a team building a transformational platform that will assist all stakeholders in developing benefits programs that matter. Visit www.thegranitelist.com to learn more.
Come back next week to hear our tips specifically for benefits advisors.