What Millennials Need to Know About Health Insurance Coverage 

Mackenzie Harris

| 3 min read

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Millennials, born between 1981 and 1996, are facing major health challenges earlier than previous generations. Ranging in age from 24 to 39 years old, millennials are the largest generation in the country. On average, their health is declining at the age of 27 and the prevalence of millennials with health conditions, such as high cholesterol and diabetes, has seen double-digit increases compared to members of Gen X, the generation that preceded them. This spike in health-related concerns can be accredited to multiple variables, one of them being a lack of proper health care. Millennials have the highest rate of uninsured individuals in the country, at 16%. 

Factors affecting millennial health

In 2019, a survey found that 60% of millennials said cost was the biggest factor in their decision to purchase health insurance or not. Not having coverage means millennials skip regular preventive care, which puts them at risk of letting underlying health conditions go untreated. In addition to health risks, skipping insurance coverage also poses a big financial risk. If an uninsured millennial were to have an accident, develop a critical illness, or be hospitalized for an extended time, they would be responsible for the entire bill. Already, 32% of American workers have medical debt and the average millennial owes $11,622 in medical debt. In the end, not purchasing health insurance to save money can be more costly– both physically and financially.

What you should do:

  1. Find health insurance that is right for you. It is important that you and your loved ones have health insurance to monitor and treat any underlying condition or to provide coverage in the case of an emergency.
  2. Check in on your mental health. There has been a 47% increase in major-depression diagnoses in Millennials since 2013. Depression and other mental illnesses can cause many physical and emotional problems. Reach out to your HR department to see if your job offers any employee assistance programs that can provide proper treatment or therapy.
  3. Take care of yourself. Whether it’s going on a daily walk, adding in more greens to your diet or cutting out things like soda or candy, find something that you can do in your everyday life that will help your body. This will not only benefit you in the moment but also in the long run.
  4. Protect yourself from the unexpected. By pairing specialty benefits such as Critical Illness and Hospital Recovery Insurance with a health plan, members can better protect their finances when needed. The cash benefits can be used for things like lost wages, childcare, medical bills, transportation or other needs. Specialty benefits can provide millennials, or any generation, the ability to avoid financial worry and focus on recovery.
For more information, email specialtybenefits@bcbsm.com or explore individual product offerings. Related:
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MI Blues Perspectives is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association