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The Truth About Navigating Healthcare as a Millennial

I'm a part of the 35% of millennials in the workforce today. Recently, I turned 26, the last of youth milestones, and moved from the cushy security of my parent’s health insurance to my own. And like that, the weight of adulthood is shoved upon me. The jig is up.

Let’s be honest, at this age we barely have it figured out if we are lucky. I know most us are clueless when it comes to health insurance and don’t realize what’s included and what’s not. We blindly sign up for a plan offered in our benefits, and the insurance company isn’t always straightforward with their descriptions.

Regardless we know we need it; we get sick or do something stupid, like sprain an ankle because I cheered in high school. And when those moments arrive, that is when we are most vulnerable and trip down into an unexpected money pit. Many of us don’t even know what to expect, other than co-pays and premiums out of our paycheck. Reality sinks in after the doctor visit and the problem’s been addressed. It sneaks up on you, at the mailbox in an envelope, next to your student loan bill instead of the online order you have been anxiously waiting for.

millennial healthcare insurance navigation

Something very similar happened to me recently. I thought I was prepared. Knowing prices vary widely in healthcare is my job; I sell a healthcare transparency solution every day to employers, explaining the benefits of navigating to the most high-quality, cost-effective healthcare. Countless testimonials and personal stories from co-workers and clients have been shared with me. Not to mention my mother and aunt are doctors, my sister is also a nurse.  I grew up having second opinions and took pride in understanding more than the average person about medical practices.

Just as I’ve done for years, I went to get my normal monthly prescription filled. The price has always been the same. I dropped it off and came back to pick it up without thinking anything of it. I went to pick up the prescription and the pharmacy tech told me it was going to be $230 dollars! I have never paid over $30. That’s a 660% increase in just one month’s time. The only difference this month was my age and insurance. I was dumbfounded.

Luckily, not having the prescription for a few days was more of an inconvenience than life-threatening. Now I would have to set up another appointment with my doctor (who is impossible to get in and see) just to change the prescription. Then the epiphany struck- this was not going to be an isolated incident. From this point on, the dynamic with my doctors will be different. I could no longer afford to blindly follow what my doctor recommended. I will be asking more questions and learning more about my options, whether it’s a healthcare procedure or prescription. Quality of care will always be the most important, but cost is now a huge part of the conversation that cannot be ignored.

I am passionate about what we do here at Healthcare Bluebook, and personally believe in what I sell.  

The top three things millennials can take away from this:

  1. Ask your doctor questions about where they are sending you for care. If they are sending you to a hospital, ask whether you can receive the same care at an outpatient facility.
  2. Think about this the same way you would if you were shopping at Target and then price checking Amazon to see if there’s a better price.
  3. Learn about what healthcare benefits your employer offers.

Ask questions and do your homework in the room with your doctor. Be curious about what options are available. Your doctor isn’t as familiar with facility costs; their top priority is giving care. Millennials! You are not helpless in this situation.

Become besties with your HR benefits manager and ask about the options you have available. Learn more about what your employer has included in your benefits, there might be solutions baked in such as Healthcare Bluebook, that helps you find high-quality, cost-effective care...

Your employer doesn’t provide Healthcare Bluebook as a benefit? Talk to your HR benefits manager about Healthcare Bluebook and why their employees need to navigate to the most high-quality, cost-effective care.

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