Working Caregivers and Employer Health Care Costs This new MetLife study is a collaborative project of the MMI, NAC, and theUniversity of Pittsburgh, and focuses on how caregiving, employer health costs, and employer-sponsored wellness benefits intersect. http://www.metlife.com/mmi/research/working-caregiver-employer-health-care-costs.html#findings
Health cost to employers is 8% more for those with 1 eldercare responsibilities.Using the average additional cost of a series of major health conditions(such as depression, hypertension, and diabetes) reported byemployees with eldercare responsibilities and non-caregivingemployees, the estimated average additional health cost to employersis 8% more for those with eldercare responsibilities. Excess medicalcosts reached almost 11% for blue-collar caregivers and over 18% formale caregivers.
2 Costing U.S. employers $13.4 billion per yearWhen extrapolated to the business sector generally, this 8% differentialin health care for caregiving employees is estimated conservatively ascosting U.S. employers $13.4 billion per year.
Employees providing eldercare were more likely to report 3 fair or poor health in general.Employees providing eldercare were more likely to report fair or poorhealth in general. For example, among female employees ages 50 andolder, 17% of caregivers reported fair or poor health compared to 9% ofnon-caregivers. Among men ages 18 to 39 and women ages 40 to 49,caregivers were also marginally more likely than non-caregivers toreport lower health ratings.
4 Caregivers healthEmployees providing eldercare were significantly more likely to reportdepression, diabetes, hypertension, or pulmonary disease regardlessof age, gender, and work type.
5 Female caregivers healthFemale employees with eldercare responsibilities reported more stressat home than non-caregivers in every age group. Stress at homeappears to affect younger female caregivers most frequently.Caregivers were more likely to report negative influences of personallife on their work.
6 Male caregivers healthEldercare demands were associated with greater health risk behaviors.Smoking is higher among male caregivers, especially among youngermale caregivers and white-collar caregivers relative to non-caregivers.Alcohol use is higher among blue-collar caregivers.
7 Employed caregivers defer preventive health screeningsEmployed caregivers find it more difficult than non-caregivers to takecare of their own health or participate in preventive health screenings.For example, women caregivers were less likely to report annualmammograms than non-caregivers. Employed caregivers of all ages andgender defer preventive health screenings as well.
8 Missed days of workEmployees with eldercare responsibilities were more likely to reportmissed days of work. This was driven by the much higher absenteeismamong younger caregiving employees, ages 18 to 39. Overall, 9% ofnon-caregivers missed at least one day of work over the past two weeksbecause of health issues compared to 10% of caregivers.
9 Employee medical care costExcess employee medical care costs associated with eldercare werehighest among younger employees, males, and blue-collar workers.
10 Younger caregiversYounger caregivers (ages 18 to 39) demonstrated significantly higherrates of cholesterol, hypertension, chronic obstructive pulmonarydisease (COPD), depression, kidney disease, and heart disease incomparison to non-caregivers of the same age.
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