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Blue @ Work

Straight from the source: What millennials want

Six takeaways to prepare for now.

We've reported on the findings from the Blue Cross® and Blue Shield® Health of America Report® External Site and provided you with insight on the reason why millennials are important to your business.

As a quick refresher, here's what you need to look out for when it comes to your current (or prospective) millennial employees.

  • 1 in 3 millennials have a health condition affecting their quality of life.
  • Millennial health begins to decline as early as age 27.
  • Only 68 percent of millennials have a primary care provider (PCP) compared to 91 percent of Generation X.
  • Major depression is the top condition affecting millennials and increased 31 percent in prevalence from 2014 to 2017.

With this data in mind, we hosted conversations across Iowa and South Dakota to begin to understand ways to create sustainable, lasting change.

Watch our latest webinar to learn more about millennials, their health and the impact to the productivity of your workplace and associated health care costs

Taking action to address the millennial health issue

The invitation-only listening forums in Des Moines, Iowa, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Sioux Falls, South Dakota, opened a conversation based on the critical findings from the report. Participants included millennial professionals, corporate executives, human resources managers, health care providers and community leaders. Together, we had conversations to identify challenges and opportunities to create a better future of health for this generation.

The information gathered during the forum was combined with listening sessions held across the country. In November, the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association debuted the combined information along with a Moody's Analytics report on the economic consequences of millennial health at their national Health of America conferences.

Six key findings employers (like you!) need to see

  • Every generation is mixed on how much they can unplug when away from work.

    There were mixed reactions among both millennial and non-millennial professionals when it came to what's acceptable when taking time off. Some felt the time was necessary to completely unplug and recharge while others said they felt obligated to check email while on vacation. Millennial attendees are also taking cues from their leaders habits and said clearer expectations would help.
  • Cost is a barrier to managing their health.

    Millennials share they make less money and have more debt, and several have high-deductible health plans. Many have diagnosed health issues but delay treatment or management of health conditions due to cost. When it comes to prescriptions, there is often a barrier between what their provider prescribes and the lowest-cost option. As a result, treatment is seen more as a luxury than a necessity.
  • Convenience is the key to their health care engagement.

    The key to increasing millennial participating and engagement in health and wellness comes down to convenience. Offering on-site programs like flu shots, weight-loss programs, fitness programs and telemedicine (aka virtual visits) would encourage them to use these services more.
  • Employer flexibility can help millennials feel balanced.

    Flexible work schedules are important to help manage already stretched millennials. In fact, having the option for a condensed, 4-day work week would motivate them to work harder and provide more personal time for them to recharge. They also want the ability to work remotely and wear casual work attire and want employers to re-evaluate the cost structure of their health insurance plans.
  • They want help understanding their benefits.

    After years of being on their parent's health insurance plans, millennials managing benefits for the first time at age 26 want help understanding how their health plans work, how to pick the best plan for their life stage and how they can access an Employee Assistance Program for mental health care.
  • Millennials want more emphasis on non-health-related benefits.

    This includes student loan/tuition reimbursement, financial planning, work from home/flexible hours and on-site wellness classes like meditation.

Make the first step: Start the millennial health discussion

Millennials will continue to become a more prominent population within your workplace, and it important to determine the ways you can avoid decreased productivity and increased health care costs among this generation.

Take a look at our exclusive content page on millennials to get the tools, resources and insights you need to keep this population of your workplace happy, healthy and engaged.

Questions? Contact your authorized Wellmark account representative, or email us at blueatwork@wellmark.com Send Email.