The workforce is changing; 83 million Millennials (as defined by birth dates between 1981-1996) may soon make up the largest segment of our workforce. This means that what Millennials value regarding their healthcare (convenience, speed and price transparency) is likely to shape your health benefit plan offerings.
A 2017 survey conducted by the Employee Benefit Research Institute revealed Millennials are more satisfied with their health coverage and use a walk-in clinic more often than Baby-Boomers. Additionally, Millennials are more likely than other groups to participate in aspects of wellness programs but less likely as a group to have a primary care physician (“PCP”).
If they don’t use a PCP, where do they go for care? They go to retail clinics, urgent care centers and use telehealth services. To retain and attract business, some PCPs are employing greater electronic communication methods and using telehealth (or long-distance) services to address the Millennial cry for speedy convenience. Onsite clinics are popular alternatives to secure care; they fall under ERISA oversight and become a group health plan if they provide more than just “minor care or first-aid during working hours.”
Do your plans offer coverage for these service categories? If so, how rich are the benefits? If not, should you consider offering coverage for these services? Consider discussions with your business leaders and benefit providers regarding these services if your employee population is predominantly Millennials. Be sure to learn compliance obligations surrounding alternative services and explain benefits in your plan documents, including your Summary Plan Description (“SPD”) and if major changes occur, in the Summary of Material Modifications (“SMM”).