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Millennials, the generation of younger Americans between the approximate age of 22 and 37, consider health insurance benefits as a critical factor when accepting a new position from a Colorado employer.

While some Colorado business owners have gotten creative with benefits to help attract and retain a younger demographic to their organization, the advantage that Millennials – especially the outdoor-oriented Colorado Millennial – want the most is also the most basic one. That benefit would be health insurance.

Millennials Value Employee Health Insurance Plans

Sure, things like student loan repayment assistance, relocation assistance, family-friendly scheduling options, and on-site healthy food options are essential.

However, more than one-third of working Millennials state affordable and robust employee health insurance plans as their biggest priority according to an April 2017 Fit Small Business survey.

More than the generations before them, Millennial workers value choice when it comes to selecting their health insurance benefits and options.

Don’t Overlook the Need for Mental Health Coverage

In April 2016, an article in Fortune Magazine explored the mental health challenges of today’s youngest workers.

Unfortunately, the consensus from the studies conducted by the magazine shows that Millennial workers have higher rates of depression, anxiety, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and other mood and behavioral disorders compared to the generations of workers before them.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, as many as fifty-percent of Millennials have at least one diagnosed mental health disorder.

The high rate of mental health issues among Millennial workers means that Colorado employers can’t afford to leave this type of health coverage out of a small business health insurance plan.

Not only do Colorado’s younger workforce members need mental health coverage, but the millennials are also apter than older workers to use their mental health insurance benefits.  With much of the stigma of mental health problems a thing of the past, those born in the 80s to the mid-90s view getting help for a mental health disorder much the same way they do seeing a doctor for a physical problem.

The following are some of the essential things for Front Range business owners to discuss with a Colorado group health insurance broker regarding mental health coverage:

  • Counseling sessions with a licensed therapist for a reasonable co-pay
  • Psychiatric evaluation services
  • Inpatient and outpatient treatment for alcohol and substance abuse disorders
  • Affordable medications to treat depression, anxiety, ADHD, and other mental health disorders.

One thing for Colorado employers researching small business health insurance to keep in mind is that Millennial workers are just as capable of those from other generations. The increases in mental health diagnoses may have more to do with improved screening and availability of services than the fact that more people have a diagnosable mental illness.

Consider Offering Millennial Workers a Cafeteria-Style Group Health Insurance Plan

When a Colorado employer establishes a cafeteria benefits plan, it means that the company allocates a specific amount of funds for health insurance benefits.  Then the employees select from several available health care options.

For example, a Colorado employee who decided not to take vision coverage could choose to use the available employer health insurance funds to obtain a more benefit-rich dental plan instead.

Of all benefits offered under a cafeteria type of plan, health insurance typically costs the most and offers employees the most options.

The Millennial Perspective on Health Insurance

Single, healthy Millennials with no dependents will likely want the least expensive health plan because they don’t intend to use health insurance very much.

Millennials on the higher end of the age spectrum, however, may have a few children already and need employee health insurance coverage that pays for preventive, routine, and emergency care for the entire family. The key is to offer as many health insurance options as possible with as many price points as possible to leave control of this choice in the hands of the Millennial worker.

Integrate Technology Whenever Possible

Even Millennials who are almost 40 years old would be hard-pressed to remember life before the Internet, Google, and related technology. They don’t want to do things the old-fashioned way in any area of life, including managing their health insurance.

From the time of making initial selections to looking up health care claims information or finding a doctor, Millennials want and demand to have information available at their fingertips.

When researching employee health insurance features and costs, Colorado employers should take care to choose health insurance plans that offer full online access to participants and initiates most member communication electronically.

Build Rewards for Good Health Choices into the Insurance Plan

Millennials are also the generation that has grown up with rewards programs. Smart Colorado employers and health insurance companies know this and use it to their advantage.

For example, rewarding employees who complete a smoking cessation program or maintain healthy cholesterol levels with a gift card or premium discount can be highly motivating.

Rewards and other small business wellness plan ideas make your Colorado Millennial workers more of participants in their health care rather than a passive recipient of services.

Most Millennials Understand the Importance of Health Insurance Coverage

Approximately 90 percent of people in this age demographic currently carry health insurance and understand how essential it is to maintain a decent quality of life.

Millennials who don’t have health insurance typically cite lack of affordability, not lack of desire, as the leading reason. Because they understand the importance, Millennial-aged workers carefully consider health insurance options and costs offered by a Colorado employer before accepting a new position.

Urban Colorado has a young workforce.  Employers up and down the Front Range are in a unique position to help reduce the percentage of uninsured younger people by offering an affordable plan with as much built-in choice as possible.

Get a Free Consultation with a Small Business Health Insurance Expert

Contact us for a free consultation to get even more ideas for giving your Colorado small business employees of any age the health care benefits they want the most. We can answer your questions about group health insurance plans and provide reliable quotes.

Call (719) 599-7989

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