This article was updated on Aug. 31, 2018.
When determining the right mix of health benefits for millennials, budget often comes into consideration first. However, a small or middle market business should try to build a competitive benefits package to attract this growing population of talent. Millennials often have unique needs for their well-being. Most also look for standard and voluntary benefit options that will be as flexible as their lifestyles.
Choosing Health Benefits
Selecting the right health benefits for them comes down to understanding what they want the most. A study conducted by Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies offers some valuable insight.
- 96 percent of millennials said health insurance is very or somewhat important.
- 85 percent of millennials said life insurance is very or somewhat important.
- 77 percent of millennials said disability insurance and long-term care insurance are very or somewhat important.
- 75 percent of millennials said a company-funded defined-benefit pension plan is very or somewhat important.
- 72 percent of millennials said critical illness insurance and financial wellness programs are very or somewhat important.
Millennials are often employed in entry- to mid-level positions fresh out of college. They may only need minimal health benefits in the immediate future, because most have active lifestyles and grew up in a society that is more health-conscious than previous generations. However, they will look for benefits that will grow with them as their lifestyles change and they start families.
Designing a Health Benefits Budget
Health benefits for millennials should be centered on affordable and flexible plans that give them more choices, but are also cost-effective for your small or middle market business. High-deductible health plans generally offer the lowest monthly premiums, and can be combined with most low-cost voluntary insurance purchased at group rates. Voluntary insurance can be customized to meet various employee needs, including critical illness care, hospital indemnity coverage, identity protection and even pet insurance.
For now, millennials may just want the basics, such as routine and preventative health care. But they also need the option to access dental and vision care and to set aside pre-tax money for childcare costs and deductibles. Other benefits that appeal to millennials include on-site perks such as gym facilities and corporate wellness programs.
Because millennials are driven by the need to expand their horizons and advance in their careers, these types of benefits are valued. A PwC report titled "Millennials at Work" advised that 52 percent of millennials "view the opportunity for career progression as attractive in an employer, as compared to 31 percent who believed benefits were important." Once millennials have satisfied their salary and work environment needs, they then focus on health benefits and other perks. Keep this in mind as your small or middle market business works to develop a strong benefits package.