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Lack of Knowledge and Changing Healthcare Landscape Impacting Millennial Payments

New TransUnion analysis explores Millennial healthcare payments behavior

A new TransUnion (NYSE: TRU) Healthcare Millennial Report found that nearly six in 10 Millennials (57%) have little to no understanding of their health insurance benefits. This is significantly lower than other generations, including Gen X (50%) and Baby Boomers (42%).

The report also found that despite the vast majority of Millennials having health insurance, they tend to pay their medical bills at a slower rate than other generations. In fact, in 2016, 74% of Millennials did not pay their medical bills in full, compared to 68% for Gen X and 60% for Baby Boomers. Yet, seven in 10 Millennials said they would pay their medical bills in full if they had the money to do so.

The TransUnion Healthcare Millennial Report reviewed a combination of proprietary TransUnion Healthcare data and information from a survey of 1,576 consumers administered in October 2017. For this analysis, “Millennials” are defined as consumers born between the years 1980 and 1994; “Gen X” are born between 1965 and 1979; and “Baby Boomers” are born between 1946 and 1964.

“Millennials are facing a tough road – in some ways they were placed at an early disadvantage compared to previous generations. As Millennials were just entering the workforce and likely had less disposable income, both insurers and employers began cost-shifting payments,” said Jonathan Wiik, author of the recently published book, ‘Healthcare Revolution: The Patient Is the New Payer’ and Principal of Healthcare Strategy at TransUnion Healthcare. “Despite these challenges, our research indicates that Millennials are indeed interested in responsibly paying their medical debts, while at the same time, healthcare providers will need to get innovative to make the payment process more manageable for millennials.”

Percent of Consumers Who Either Have a Limited Understanding or No Understanding

of Their Healthcare Insurance Coverage


No Understanding

Limited Understanding






Generation X




Baby Boomers




According to the report, approximately half of Millennials (46%) would be more apt to pay their medical bills if they were provided an estimate of their healthcare costs at the point of service. Millennials also tend to have less understanding of recent trends in the healthcare space such as high deductible healthcare plans. More than ¼ of Millennials (26%) said they don’t understand high deductible plans, a higher level than Gen X (17%) and Baby Boomers (9%).

“Healthcare providers looking to improve cash flow from Millennial patients should look for ways to encourage payments at the time of service while offering more educational tools to ensure they better understand the complex healthcare landscape,” said John Yount, Vice President for Healthcare Solutions at TransUnion. “This will not only engage them early, it will protect revenue from leakage, and provide an overall better patient experience.”

Additional findings from the TransUnion Healthcare survey include:

  • 35% of Millennials do not plan for medical or healthcare expenses as part of their budget.
  • 80% of Millennials do not have a Health Savings Account in which to pay for out-of-pocket expenses.
  • 37% of Millennials have private commercial health insurance.
  • 51% of Millennials do not feel prepared to manage healthcare/medical expenses; compared to 42% of Gen-Xers and 33% of Baby Boomers.
  • 40% of Millennials compare the cost of services by healthcare provider compared to 29% of Gen-Xers and 22% of Baby Boomers.

For more detailed information about TransUnion’s Millennial study, please click here.

About TransUnion Healthcare

TransUnion Healthcare, a wholly owned subsidiary of credit and information management company TransUnion, is a trusted provider of revenue cycle management solutions for maximizing reimbursement, improving patient engagement, and ultimately increasing the effectiveness of the healthcare system. We deliver this by leveraging our data assets, market-leading revenue cycle management technologies, and deep insights into consumer financial behavior, to help providers reduce uncompensated care and improve cash flow with one of the most patient-centric revenue cycle management systems on the market today.

About TransUnion (NYSE:TRU)

Information is a powerful thing. At TransUnion, we realize that. We are dedicated to finding innovative ways information can be used to help individuals make better and smarter decisions. We help uncover unique stories, trends and insights behind each data point, using historical information as well as alternative data sources. This allows a variety of markets and businesses to better manage risk and consumers to better manage their credit, personal information and identity. Today, TransUnion has a global presence in more than 30 countries and a leading presence in several international markets across North America, Africa, Latin America and Asia. Through the power of information, TransUnion is working to build stronger economies and families and safer communities worldwide.

We call this Information for GoodSM.