The Wall Street Journal's Health blog floats an interesting idea: that Gen Xers, accustomed, as we are, to transparency, connectivity, and social media, will work around the traditional healthcare system until it adapts.
“There’s definitely a generational wall between the boomers and seniors who say, ‘It is what it is,’ and Gen X, which says the [healthcare] system should do a lot of things it’s not doing now. They want to see their own records, they want to know whether a doctor is competent or not and they want to see prices up front.”
Along with their younger Gen Y siblings, this group is “less satisfied with their health plans and care and they want information, understandable prices and connectivity through technologies,” the report says. That means they’re willing to use more convenient, cheaper forms of health care such as retail clinics for primary care or alternative medicine instead of, or as an adjunct to, traditional care.
And they’re not necessarily going to use the services and resources as directed by their physician or other authority figures, the report notes.
Of course, there are other options emerging, like Jay Parkinson's Hello Health. I, myself, have taken to just calling up my friends in med school for advice when I want to know whether some malady (usually a soccer injury) merits a trip to the doctor in the first place. That's saved me a lot of time and money.