critical illness plans
to protect the
freedom of their
products help limit
financial strain by
cash benefits to
use however they
see fit to cover out-of-pocket medical
paid for by health
With more than half (57 percent) of young
adults reporting being enrolled in a high-deductible health plan, and 77 percent of
them having used their health benefits in
the past 12 months, they also indicated that
understanding what is and isn’t covered and
understanding the true costs are the parts of
the benefits selection process they find most
confusing4. It’s a precarious position. They’re
carrying an up-front financial burden, don’t
understand the ins and outs of the plans
they’re actively using and likely don’t realize
just how close they are to a situation that can
create a ripple effect of financial burden for
months—or years—to come.
When employers provide access
to custom benefit choices through
voluntary benefits, they’re giving young
professionals more control over their
financial circumstances, which means they’ll
be less likely to need to tap into credit,
savings or family loans if they’re faced with
an unexpected illness or injury. They’ll be
able to see their benefits as more than just
prevention and protection—they’ll see them
as lifestyle enablers. And they’ll see that
their employers provide incentives that help
them protect their desires to live life to the
Young adults don’t want to miss out.
Employers shouldn’t miss out on simple,
no-cost opportunities to influence attraction,
loyalty and retention.
Twenty-one percent of millennials say they’ve changed jobs within the past year. And just half strongly agree they
plan to be working at their current company
one year from now1. That’s a lot of millennials
and a lot of movement. With turnover from
this generation costing the U.S. economy
$30.5 billion annually1, that’s also a lot of
Competition to get—and keep—top
young professional talent is fierce, and
employers must constantly look for
challenging career and growth opportunities,
as well as unique incentives this generation
will have a hard time walking away from.
Research shows their FOMO (an acronym for
“fear of missing out”) helps drive cravings
for experiences and 72 percent prefer
to spend more money on experiences
than material things2. Employers may not
realize they already have access to an
incentive that can help protect and fuel
young professionals’ lifestyle cravings and
preferences without costing them a thing.
That incentive is voluntary benefits.
We know young adults are financially
fragile, with 65 percent having less than
$1,000 on hand to pay out-of-pocket
medical expenses, and 63 percent not able
to adjust to the financial costs associated
with a serious injury or illness3. So when
something bad happens, their finances—
and their lifestyles—will likely take a hit.
Insurance products such as accident, hospital
Employers Hold Missing Link
Between Finance-Conscious Young
Professionals and FOMO
Brenda J. Mullins
Vice President of Human Resources, Chief People Officer
1Adkins, Amy. Millennials: The Job-Hopping Generation. Business Journal. May 12, 2016. http://www.gallup.com/businessjournal/191459/millennials-job-hopping-
generation.aspx. Accessed Dec. 9, 2016.
2Saiidi, Uptin. Millennials are prioritizing ‘experiences’ over stuff. CNBC. May 5, 2016. http://www.cnbc.com/2016/05/05/millennials-are-prioritizing-experiences-over-
stuff.html. Accessed Dec. 9, 2016.
3The 2016 Aflac WorkForces Report is the sixth annual Aflac employee benefits study examining benefits trends and attitudes. The Employee Survey was conducted
online in the United States between Jan. 20 and Feb. 3, 2016, among 5,000 adults ages 18 and older who are employed full or part time at a company with three or
more employees. Results were weighted to match U.S. demographics. No theoretical sampling error can be calculated; a full methodology is available. The 2016 Aflac
WorkForces Report survey was conducted by Lightspeed/GMI on behalf of Aflac.
4The 2016 Aflac Generations Study examines the behaviors, perceptions and expectations of millennials regarding employer-sponsored benefits, compared to
Generation X and Baby Boomers. The survey was conducted online in the United States between July 29 and Aug. 8 among 600 millennials, 450 Gen Xers and 450
Baby Boomers with sampling quotas set to ensure profiles of each generation sample align to U.S. Census data with respect to gender, Hispanic origin, ethnicity and
region. A full methodology is available. The Aflac Generations Study survey was conducted by Lightspeed/GMI on behalf of Aflac.