Millennials (born 1981-1996) are the most educated generation in history, the most diverse and at 73 million strong, they are quickly becoming the largest portion of today’s workforce. Unfortunately, millennials also face challenges from crippling debt, increased stress and declining health.
To understand the current health status of millennials, the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (of which Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield is an independent licensee) dove deep into its national data to understand which diseases and conditions most impact millennials. They also hosted 16 listening sessions and had more than 8,000 participants in six surveys. Here are some highlights of what they found.
The healthcare millennials want
Surveyed millennials view the healthcare system very differently than past generations, and said they want:
- Fast and easy access to care – including short waits, online scheduling, extended clinic hours, digital access to records, etc.
- Face-to-face care and virtual options – including text, email, video chats, etc.
- A personal relationship with a healthcare provider – ironically, many said the lack of this relationship was why they had not sought care
- A holistic, culturally sensitive approach – with a central contact guiding the process
The good news?
Arkansas Blue Cross is already supporting and/or implementing initiatives that align with millennials’ preferences (like virtual health and patient-centered medical homes). Others are on the drawing board. We hosted two listening sessions, one in Cave Springs in northwest Arkansas and one in Little Rock and plan to do more to address millennials’ concerns. Our goal is to change the health of people in this generation for the better.
Here are the top 10 conditions affecting millennials (ages 21-36 in 2017)
- Major depression
- Substance use disorder
- Alcohol use disorder
- Psychotic conditions
- Crohn’s disease/ulcerative colitis
- High cholesterol
- Tobacco use disorder
- Type 2 diabetes
Conditions significantly impact health if they reduce future healthy life by more than six months.