US Generation Z Healthcare Behaviors

What Changed During the Pandemic and What Will Stick

Executive Summary

The global pandemic has already had profound effects on Gen Z’s perception of the US healthcare system and will continue to shape this cohort’s attitudes, preferences, and rules of engagement in the years to come.

How is the pandemic affecting Gen Z’s health?

Though Gen Z hasn’t seen as many coronavirus casualties as older generations have, nearly all of today’s children, teens, and young adults have experienced major disruptions in family life, education, employment, and socialization. This has led to unprecedented levels of stress and anxiety. It has also spurred a new sense of urgency about seeking care when needed, even if it hasn’t always translated into taking precautions to prevent serious illness.

How is Gen Z different from older generations when it comes to researching healthcare conditions and shopping for healthcare services?

Gen Zers’ natural penchant for skepticism and frugality—coupled with low levels of confidence in the US healthcare system—makes them less likely to trust providers, more likely to research prices before seeking care, and more apt to worry that their health insurance won’t cover their treatment. At the same time, they are hopeful that their struggles will give rise to new and more convenient ways of providing care.

How will Gen Z’s affinity for digital resources affect healthcare delivery after the pandemic is over?

Consumers of all ages have increased their use of telehealth in the past 18 months, but Gen Zers are most likely to demand that providers continue to offer care via phone, video, and text messaging once the global crisis is over. That said, they are willing to visit doctors’ offices, retail clinics, and consult other online sources if they feel those options are more convenient and expedient.

WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? This report provides a recent snapshot of Gen Z’s healthcare-related attitudes and behaviors and discusses how the pandemic continues to shape the cohort’s interactions with the US healthcare system.

KEY STAT: Gen Z adults were among the age group that was most likely to go online to research the price of healthcare treatments.

Here’s what’s in the full report


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Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary
  2. Key Points
  3. Swamped by Anxiety and Stress
  4. Gen Z’s Urgency-Preparedness Paradox
  1. Low Trust in the Healthcare System
  2. Telehealth Shows Promise
  3. Ease and Convenience Are Top Priorities
  4. Read Next
  1. Sources
  2. Media Gallery

Charts in This Report

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Victoria Petrock


Jasmine Enberg
Senior Analyst
Jeane Han
Senior Researcher
Jennifer Pearson
VP, Research
Lisa Phillips
Principal Analyst, Digital Health
Lauren Ruhlen