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Multigenerational Claims Study Highlights Employees’ Health Issues – Key for Employers to Address Care Costs Today and in the Future

  • Millennials are most at risk (38 percent) for developing chronic health issues
  • Back disorders are common among all generational groups, with depression and hypertension common for three of the four groups.
  • Health Action Council generational study highlights key findings based on national claims data that, paired with local care trends, foster development of tailored wellness, care management and benefits plan designs

CLEVELAND (April 9, 2019) – Identifying variations in health conditions and health care utilization by generation may better enable employers to offer plan designs and wellness and care programs to address the unique needs of generationally diverse workforces, according to a study by the Health Action Council.

The study, “Generational Analysis: Insights about Your Workforce to Advance Your Success,” is the second in a series of reports developed in collaboration with UnitedHealthcare using claims data to identify opportunities to improve employee and community health while managing health care costs.

Unveiled at the 2019 IN*VALUE*ABLE conference in Cleveland presented by Health Action Council, the study highlights opportunities to increase access to care, address multigenerational health concerns and enhance personal engagement to better manage health care costs now and in the future. The study used nationally compiled claims data from Council member employers and proprietary analytics delivered through the UnitedHealthcare Center for Advanced Analytics.

“Employers can now look at generational trends to more specifically address evolving near-term care needs while developing long-term health benefit, care and investment strategies to support today’s and tomorrow’s workforce,” said Patty Starr, executive director, Health Action Council, an organization dedicated to improving the quality and cost of care for its member companies. “Companies can immediately use these findings to modernize their benefits and enhance their wellness and communication efforts to begin bending the health care cost curve.”


Key findings include:

●      Millennials are most at risk (38 percent) for developing more chronic health issues, 44 percent of whom are already seeking care for chronic issues. Baby Boomers access care for more complex and chronic conditions (14 percent and 56 percent, respectively),

●      Back disorders are common among all generational groups, with depression and hypertension common for three of the four groups (i.e., depression among Generation Xers, Millennials and Generation Zers).

●      Baby Boomers use pharmacy benefits more than any generation (92 percent), while more than 67 percent of all generations utilize pharmacy(Generation Z utilization).

●      When it comes to outpatient visits, Millennials use emergency rooms and urgent care centers most often, yet primary care visits are least expensive – when used. Millennials and Generation Xers are most likely to take advantage of virtual visits.

“While each generation experiences the health care system differently and may have different care needs, solutions need to address a common goal – to enhance access to care and encourage wellness to slow the progression across all generations from at-risk to chronic conditions,” said Craig Kurtzweil, vice president of  UnitedHealthcare Center for Advanced Analytics. “Using generational data coupled with local insights can help us understand the current needs and evolving issues to make a positive impact on the health of employees and their families, particularly Millennials.”

To view “Generational Analysis: Insights about Your Workforce to Advance Your Success” and the 2018 “Community Health Data: Improving Employer Investment in Overall Health,” go to https://healthactioncouncil.org.

About Health Action Council

Health Action Council is a not-for-profit organization representing large employers that enhances human and economic health through thought leadership, innovative services and collaboration. The organization provides value to its members by facilitating projects that improve quality, lower costs and enhance individual experiences, and by collaborating with key stakeholders to build a culture of health.

About UnitedHealthcare

UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people live healthier lives and making the health system work better for everyone by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. In the United States, UnitedHealthcare offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers, and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with more than 1.2 million physicians and care professionals, and 6,500 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide. The company also provides health benefits and delivers care to people through owned and operated health care facilities in South America. UnitedHealthcare is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified health care company. For more information, visit UnitedHealthcare at www.uhc.com or follow @UHC on Twitter.

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Contact:  Patty Starr
                 Health Action Council
                 (216) 328-2200
                 pstarr@healthactioncouncil.org

                 Maria Gordon Shydlo
                 UnitedHealthcare
                 (612) 486-4361
                 maria_g_shydlo@uhc.com