Millennials say no, thanks to employer health plansNews added by Benefits Pro on July 25, 2013

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By Dan Cook

Even when offered health coverage by their employer, nearly half of millennials opted not to accept it.

This rather startling insight into this independent-minded generation was among the findings of ADP’s “Annual Health Benefits Report: 2013 Benchmarks and Trends for Large Companies,” which identified trends in employer-provided health benefits between 2010 and 2013.

ADP Research based its report on a survey of 600,000-plus employees at 175 U.S. corporations. The data was gathered anonymously through interviews in an effort to achieve greater objectivity than might be derived from self-reported data, ADP said.

The data from millennials stood out, given the generally held notion that employer-sponsored health coverage is highly coveted by all workers.

“Among employees under age 30, only slightly more than half participated in their employer’s health benefits program. Although eligibility declined in every age group since 2010, the largest decrease (4.6 percent) was among this group,” the report said.

For employees age 40 and older, average participation rates were in the 70 percent range, the study said.

The decrease in eligibility for millennials may be one factor in their reluctance to accept employer coverage.

Another factor: the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act allows “dependents” up to the age of 26 to be covered by a parental plan, said ADP’s Christopher Ryan, vice president of strategic advisory services.

In addition, millennials saw the highest premium hike of any of the groups studied — 16.3 percent — another disincentive to opt for company coverage.

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