Millennials' Poor Health To Have Economic Consequences

Moody's report sees $4,500 per-capita hit on annual income
Robert Calandra

Poor health may have serious economic consequences for millennials, according to a new report by Moody’s Analytics.

The report predicts that if the health of millennials continues to “decline and go unaddressed over the next 10 years,” their health care costs, relative to Generation Xers, may increase by 33% and their mortality rates soar by  40%.

The gloomy report also says millennials’ annual income may, on average, decline by $4,500 per person because poor health translates into job loss and reduced working hours.

The report defined millennials as Americans who were born between 1981 and 1996 and Generation Xers as those born between 1965 and 1980.

The Moody report, titled the Economic Consequences of Millennial Health, used data from the Blue Cross Blue Shield Health Index, which quantifies more than 300 health conditions.  

A 2017 Blue Cross Blue Shield Association’s report, The Health of Millennials, found that it is a generation that is more likely to experience major depression, hyperactivity, and type 2 diabetes, along with other behavioral and physical conditions.

A more recent BCBSA survey showed that many millennials do not seek preventive care and that two thirds only see a doctor when they are sick or in urgent need of care. Almost a third do not have a primary care doctor.

“Millennials are the largest (73 million), most educated, and most connected generation ever,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Analytics, in a press release. “But they also have serious health issues that if not addressed will have serious long-term consequences for their well-being and the performance of the U.S. economy.”