Gen X: A Health Care Anomaly?


Gen Xers, born 1965 to 1980, are often thought of as the ‘latchkey generation.’ They came of age living in two-income households with rising divorce rates and a shaky economy. Gen Xers are conditioned toward independence and self-sufficiency, with the middle class emerging as comparatively more economically conservative than their younger Gen Yers. This generation instigated the sentiment where life/work balance is defined as the highest priority is personal life, with professional life second in line.

Xers are tech savvy, highly engaged online, and embrace social media (78% daily with virtually 100% on Facebook, 46% on LinkedIn, and 21% on Twitter). Xers grew up with only a landline, albeit initiated the mobile-only habit, abandoning their home (landline) telephones. Gen Xers access digital news, television, movies, shopping and more.

Gen Xers are shoppers, knowledgeable and savvy, they require information to guide purchase decisions. They utilize rating and review sites, as well as product comparison data. They err on the prudent side in their purchase habits, but quality is an appreciated attribute.

Value is critical to this generation. This generation begged mom to buy breakfast cereal with the prize, only to discover the product would break minutes after opening. Likewise, more than 90% of Gen X equate product quality with value.


Gen X Shops Health Care!

Gen Xers shop for health care information similar to retail items, and feel empowered by the plethora of information accessible. They not only desire reassurance that their physician choice is the right one, they endlessly seek affirmation their choice is the right one. They research, review, consult and have insatiable appetites for information on doctors, hospitals, specialties, symptoms, ailments, medications, clinical histories, and patient testimonials or experiences.  Gen Xers’ expectations regarding health care providers are somewhat cavalier, often less loyal, and likely to base decisions on upon their most recent experience.

This cavalier attitude combined with the value-based approach to spending is an important consideration as more than half of the employed Gen Xers with health insurance report being insured by a high- or mid-level deductible health care plan.

It’s no longer enough to deliver good quality health care to remain competitive. Gen Xers consider brand reputation and patient experience as important as physician referrals. Accordingly, clinicians and care providers need to communicate the organization’s competitive position and deliver the desired patient experience to connect with this generation.


Gen X Brand Engagement

It is critical for health care brands to create positive and memorable patient experiences to build strong customer relationships, and in light of value-based purchasing—to generate revenue.

How do you know your brand and engagement is resonating with Generation Xers or your target audience? The Research Group will guide the discovery process to ensure your brand, communications, and services satisfy patients and their families.


generation x


This entry was posted on Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014 at 1:46 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed.