This year marks a milestone for Boomers. By its end all Boomers, approximately 75 million people, will be 50 or older. By 2017, those over age 65 will control 70% of disposable income in this country. By 2030, 18% of our population will be 65 or older.
Baby Boomers as Healthcare Consumers – Opportunity
This generation has been a force throughout the past decades and will continue to be. One of the industries that will be most affected is health care. Although boomers claim that old-age does not begin until age 72, many are less healthy than past generations. 13.2% of baby boomers reported “excellent” health compared with 32% of the previous generation.
It is estimated that 60% of adults age 50 to 64 are suffering from a minimum of one chronic health issue and many have multiple illnesses. People older than 65 spend more on health care than any other age group, averaging $4,769 out-of-pocket each year. They will present many challenges and opportunities for health systems and physicians.
Health statistics for those 65 and older:
- 72% have hypertension
- 51% have arthritis
- 31% have heart disease
- 24% have cancer
- 20 % have diabetes
- Boomers account for one-third of overall healthcare spending and prescription drug utilization and for 40% of doctor visits
Reaching Boomers – Challenges
Reaching this segment of the population is becoming easier. Traditional media vehicles are still a good way of connecting with boomers, but one myth being debunked is that digital marketing is not a good option. Although not as prevalent as with younger generations, 88% of 50-64 year olds and 57% of 65+ are online.
An Accenture survey found that 2/3 of seniors think access to health information is important and 60% want to be able to email providers, but only 15% have that option.
This group is searching for health information online. Those that have one or more chronic conditions are more likely than other age groups to:
- Gather information online about medical problems, treatments, and drugs.
- Consult online reviews about drugs and other treatments.
- Read or watch something online about someone else’s personal health experience.
In Information Week, Jill Daily of Accenture Health was quoted as saying, “Just as seniors are turning to the Internet for banking, shopping, entertainment and communications, they also expect to handle certain aspects of their healthcare services online. What this means for providers and health plans is that they’ll need to expand their digital options if they want to attract older patients and help them track and manage their care outside their doctor’s office.”
Are you providing that service and doing all you can to reach this fast growing and affluent market?