The Crisis of Millennial Health

Independence Blue Cross and The Economy League have launched an innovative approach to addressing the surprising health needs of an entire generation. 


The pandemic—and resulting isolation, job loss and grief—is crushing our collective mental health. According to a recent Blue Cross Blue Shield Association survey, it’s hitting millennials especially hard: 92 percent of 24- to 39-year-olds said the pandemic has had a negative impact on their mental health, compared to 70 percent of baby boomers. And millennial health was already bad, pre-pandemic.


According to BCBSA’s The Health of Millennials data released last year, the generation, defined as those born between 1981 and 1993, had higher prevalence of eight of the top ten health conditions than Gen Xers when they were the same age. And from 2014 to 2017, the prevalence of their top three health conditions grew dramatically: major depression by 31 percent; hyperactivity (ADHD) by 29 percent; and type II diabetes by 22 percent.


Recognizing the dire state of affairs, the Economy League of Greater Philadelphia and Independence Blue Cross, with support from the Philadelphia Foundation, teamed up to spark, develop and support ideas to improve millennial health. The Well City Challenge, launched this week, offers Philadelphians the chance to pilot their own solution.