CHICAGO, Oct. 28, 2020 — When it comes to baby boomers’ overall wellbeing, many rely on their adult children for support and assistance. A recent study by GoHealth, Inc. (GoHealth) (NASDAQ: GOCO) found that one in three Gen Xers and millennials are currently supporting their parents financially. Nearly one in three millennials and two in five Gen Xers either manage or help manage their parents’ healthcare. The new report, “Gen X & Millennials Take on the Role of Caregiver,” details the impact this evolving dynamic has on these younger generations.
“The baby boomer generation is the second-largest in the country, and now many are finding themselves in a position of needing help from their adult children,” said GoHealth CEO & Co-founder, Clint Jones. “For those in this role, over half were prompted following a parents’ significant medical event. And many are spending thousands of their own money to fund their parents’ healthcare bill. This can put a serious strain on financial stability.”
GoHealth conducted 2,000 online surveys in late August 2020, split between 1,000 millennials and 1,000 Gen Xers to examine this issue. For this study, millennials are defined as any participants aged 24 to 39; Gen Xers are 40 to 55. All respondents reported having a relationship with a living parent.
Key Findings – Healthcare
3 in 5 Gen Xers (59%) and 1 in 2 millennials (51%) began assisting after a parent suffered a serious medical event
Both millennials and Gen Xers spend 11.5 hours per week managing their parents’ healthcare, and both estimate they’ll spend 14-16 years in assisting their parent(s)
7 in 10 Gen Xers (69%) and 3 in 5 millennials (59%) help pay their parents’ medical bills
Roughly 2 in 5 of both generations have spent more than $10,000 of their own money in the last year (Gen Xers: 45%, millennials: 37%)
Top activities include: providing transportation, scheduling/attending doctors visits, selecting doctors, and explaining insurance claims
Key Findings – Finances
4 in 5 help with everyday expenses like monthly utility bills and/or groceries.
Gen Xers (86%) and millennials (82%) worry about having enough money to support themselves and their parents
2 in 3 say financially assisting their parent(s) does or will impact their own financial planning
1 in 2 Gen Xers (55%) and 2 in 5 millennials (44%) are likely to take on debt to support their parents
3 in 4 Gen Xers (73%) and 1 in 2 millennials indicate they will need to delay retirement due to supporting their parent(s)
Gen Xers and millennials that live in the same household as their parents are 3X more likely to provide financial assistance
Top challenges of managing their parents’ healthcare include: not having enough time to attend visits, not having enough money to cover healthcare costs, not understanding plan benefits
“In today’s economic climate, it’s not surprising that stress and anxiety around finances are bubbling up, especially when a parents’ well-being is involved,” said GoHealth’s Chief Strategy Officer & Co-founder, Brandon Cruz. “Our customers are our top priority. We can help by finding and scheduling appointments with providers, scheduling transportation if covered by a plan, helping explain insurance bills and a plan’s benefits so the customer knows what access to care they truly have.
“Being in the right plan is the first line of defense to protect against unexpected costs. The protection extends to a caregiver, too. GoHealth has built advanced algorithms to find plans that meet a customer’s needs from a healthcare and cost perspective. Seniors and their caregivers should review changes to their existing Medicare plans and determine if there is a better fit for them for 2021.”
As a leading health insurance marketplace, GoHealth’s mission is to improve access to healthcare in America. Enrolling in a health insurance plan can be confusing for customers, and the seemingly small differences between plans can lead to significant out-of-pocket costs or lack of access to critical medicines and even providers. GoHealth combines cutting-edge technology, data science and deep industry expertise to match customers with the healthcare policy and carrier that is right for them. Since its inception, GoHealth has enrolled millions of people in Medicare and individual and family plans. For more information, visit https://www.gohealth.com/.