It's not uncommon to see the terms "young" and "invincible" paired up when talking about millennials and healthcare-particularly when it comes to men. But how "invincible" are our nation's 18-to 34-year-old men?
It’s not uncommon to see the terms “young” and “invincible” paired up when talking about millennials and healthcare—particularly when it comes to men. But how “invincible” are our nation’s 18- to 34-year-old men? To explore further, Nursing@Georgetown created an infographic to shine a spotlight on men’s health and encourage more engagement with primary care providers, such as family nurse practitioners. In addition, with the Affordable Care Act (ACA)'s open enrollment period now open until December 31, it’s important for millennial men to have as much information as possible about health insurance options and factors that may impact a healthy lifestyle.
Millennials’ Role in the ACA
Millennials play a crucial role in ensuring the success of the ACA. According to ACA regulations, health insurance companies can no longer deny coverage for people with pre-existing medical conditions. This requirement to cover those with more expensive conditions means that these companies must also assume a higher financial risk.
The ACA was structured with this dynamic in mind, with a goal to balance the financial burden of high-risk populations with that of low-risk populations, also known as the “young invincibles.” In addition to receiving the coverage they need, healthy millennials who enroll in the ACA help health insurance companies to manage the financial needs of a population that is more likely to require major medical treatments.
How Invincible are Millennial Men?
Although millennial men may view themselves as invincible, there are a variety of factors that impact their health. According to HHS, men live 4.8 years less than women—a statistic that’s likely influenced by the fact that 42.2% of men don’t meet federal exercise guidelines, 72.9% are classified as overweight, and 31.6% have high blood pressure. Although younger men may not spend much time focusing on stats like these, attending to preventive measures can help improve health outcomes later in life.
In addition to physical health, mental health may also be a key factor for millennial men. According to the CDC, 17% of men become alcohol dependent at some point in their lives and men are 4 times more likely to die by suicide than women. Traditionally, men—particularly young men—are less likely to seek therapeutic services than women.
The Role of Nurses
In terms of overall support for men’s health, nurses play a key role. Whether a person is seeking care in an outpatient setting or have an acute need that requires a visit to the emergency room, nurses guide patients along the care continuum from start to finish. They educate communities about health risks and preventive care measures and work with the healthcare team to provide patients with health information and treatment options. They may even be involved in discussing health insurance and payment options, depending upon the setting.
However, it’s important to know that what’s covered by your health insurance depends upon both the plan you select and the setting in which you receive care. That’s why it’s important to gather as much information as you can before making a decision about your choices in signing up. In addition, the more you understand about your own healthcare needs—and what you can do to maintain optimal health—the better you’ll ensure that you receive the best care at the lowest cost.