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Health advice for each generation

Takeaways for better health

This article was last updated Sept. 8, 2023.

Regardless of age, more consumers are shopping around for health care and doing their homework before receiving services.

Preventive care such as annual wellness exams, dental visits and blood tests can help you catch disease early. In addition, routine screenings can help keep you healthy through every stage of life.

Here is a quick rundown of specific health advice that will help you become healthier based on your generation, how different generations make decisions about health care, and what we can learn from each of them.

Millennials (born 1981–1996)

The largest group of health consumers out there, millennials are unique in that they are the first generation to grow up in the digital age. They are more likely to:

Advice: Choose a primary care provider (PCP)

Studies show 37 percent of millennials don’t have an established relationship with a primary care provider. A PCP is the go-to person for preventive care and is associated with better overall health and lower hospital and emergency use.

Generation X (born 1965–1980)

Gen-Xer’s are the first generation of true health consumers, meaning they are the first to shop for health care in much the same way they shop for other goods and services. They are more likely to:

  • Have an established relationship with a primary care doctor
  • Care for young children, adult children, and/or their parents

Advice: Schedule preventive exams

While they may agree prevention is an important part of health care, Gen X’ers often find themselves too busy to make it a priority. In fact, only half have had an annual physical in the past five years, and a third of Gen X’ers avoid going to the doctor out of fear of finding something wrong.

Not sure if you've used your annual preventive exam yet?

Wellmark members will be notified in myWellmark® toward the end of their plan year if they still have an annual preventive exam remaining. After logging in, members with a remaining visit will see an alert in the Message Center letting them know this information.

Baby Boomers (born 1946–1964)

They didn’t grow up online, but baby boomers have embraced technology and are open to new ways of connecting with their doctors. Baby boomers are more likely to:

  • Have an annual physical and stay on top of preventive care
  • Live with a chronic condition, such as diabetes, cancer or heart disease

Advice: Manage chronic conditions

More than 60 percent of baby boomers have already been diagnosed External Site with at least one chronic health condition. Now, it’s particularly important to advocate for care by understanding medical treatments, medications and risks.

The Silent Generation (born 1928–1945)

People ages 75 and over are typically enrolled in Medicare, and often, a Medicare supplement and Part D prescription drug plan. This generation is more likely to:

  • Closely follow their doctor's recommendations and rely heavily on them for health information and referrals
  • Take multiple prescription medication
  • Require an inpatient hospital stay or emergency room visit

Advice: Stay on top of medications

To avoid drug interactions, communicate with a health care provider about all the supplements, over-the-counter medications and prescriptions being taken.

4 tips for all ages

  1. Choose a PCP. Whether your plan requires it or not, choosing a primary care provider will help coordinate your care and ensure your health is the best it can be.
  2. Don’t skimp on preventive care. It’s always better to take care of a health condition early, before it becomes more serious.
  3. Have a pharmacy home. To help avoid potential drug interactions, it’s best to have one place — a pharmacy home — where you develop a relationship with a pharmacist you trust.
  4. Register or log in to myWellmark Secure Site. You’ll find all your personalized benefit information, plus help choosing the right health care providers. You can also download the Wellmark app Opens New Window on your mobile device to track your benefits, find providers, access your ID card and more.

Two tools to use

BeWell 24/7SM

Keep the number Eight, Four, Four, Eight, Four, Be Well handy for getting fast answers to your health questions, day or night. BeWell 24/7 is available at no cost to most Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield members.

Doctor On Demand

A virtual visit through Doctor On Demand® is a benefit covered by many Wellmark plans. It allows you to stay at home while you visit a doctor face-to-face via your smartphone, tablet or laptop. Log in to myWellmark to see if you have coverage Secure Site for virtual visits.

Doctor On Demand physicians do not prescribe Drug Enforcement Administration-controlled substances, and may elect not to treat conditions or prescribe other medications based on what is clinically appropriate.

For plans that include benefits for mental health treatment, Doctor On Demand benefits may include treatment for certain psychological conditions, emotional issues and chemical dependency. Services performed by Doctor On Demand psychologists are covered. For more information, call Wellmark at the number on your ID card.

Doctor On Demand by Included Health is a separate company providing an online telehealth solution for Wellmark members. Doctor On Demand® is a registered mark of Doctor On Demand, Inc.