(PresidentialWire.com)- Older millennials are experiencing chronic health issues that generations before them have not had to face at this age.
Recent research has shown that roughly 44% of millennials who are on the older side of the generation have been diagnosed with at least one chronic health condition. The survey, conducted by The Harris Poll for CNBC Make It, polled more than 4,000 adults in the U.S.
Of those surveyed, 830 were between 33 and 40 years old. The “older millennials” in this case were born between the years of 1981 and 1988.
Dr. Georges Benjamin, the executive director of the American Public Health Association, said there’s “no question” emerging evidence has shown that millennials are unhealthier than was even predicted. He said:
“Hypertension, diabetes and obesity drives a lot of that.”
In fact, he said that the obesity epidemic is likely one of the root causes in the increase in rates of diabetes, hypertension and even some types of cancer.
At the same time, Benjamin said millennials are much less likely to be smokers than previous generations. This means they’re much less likely to suffer from smoking-related diseases.
The five most common ailments reported by older millennials are migraine headaches, major depressions, asthma, Type 2 diabetes and hypertension.
Not only do these ailments contribute to the overall health of these millennials, but it’s also impacting their finances. Studies in the past have revealed that people who have at least one chronic condition spend almost double in out-of-pocket health-care expenses as those who don’t have any notable medical conditions.
Those who have two chronic health conditions can spend as much as five times more than those with no chronic issues.
The Kaiser Family Foundation, for example, reported that people younger than 65 who have circulatory system diseases, which includes high blood pressure, spend at least $1,500 each year on out-of-pocket health-care costs. Those who don’t have a chronic condition pay, on average, $778 per year in these costs.
The financial ramifications are even more dire than that, though. A Moody’s Analytics report from 2019 showed that millennials who have a chronic health issue may also see their annual income be roughly $4,500 lower. This is due to not only their medical expenses, but reduced hours at their job — or job loss altogether — because they need to tend to their medical conditions.
As Benjamin said:
“At the end of the day, if these trends continue, then you’ll have higher health-care costs. You’ll be exchanging the Baby Boomer generation for a generation with even higher health-care costs just because of normal inflation and the fact these chronic diseases are there.”
Benjamin and other doctors have admitted that some of these statistics may be a little misleading. It’s not that these millennials don’t have these chronic issues. It’s that it’s possible previous generations went underreported.
When Obamacare was passed in 2010, it gave millennials expanded access to health care, which probably resulted in a spike in the reporting of these chronic health conditions.
Either way, it’s not a good trend for these older millennials, and for the country at large.