Caregiving costs the economy $264 billion annually; PA has one of the highest percentages of loss of income
A new report by The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) estimates the economic impact of caregiving on employment, absenteeism, and caregiver health. Caregiving costs the economy $264 billion annually. Pennsylvania ranks as one of the states with the highest percentage loss of income, equivalent to greater than 1.75 percent of total income.
“The Economic Impact of Caregiving” also highlights the need to advocate for better ways to address caregivers’ needs. BCBSA commissioned Moody’s Analytics to analyze BCBS Health Index data for the study.
Nearly 51 million Americans who are elderly or have a serious medical condition require a caregiver. BCBSA, which has claims data for more than 100 million Americans, is uniquely able to shed light on who these caregivers are and how caregiving affects important facets of daily life, especially the economy.
Learn the impacts of caregiving on health and the economy:
- Caregiving costs the economy $264 billion annually. This total includes direct impact, which accounts for time spent caregiving and its influence on caregiver decisions around work, absenteeism, and productivity. It also includes indirect impact, which accounts for poor health outcomes associated with the demands of providing care.
- Uncompensated caregiving is estimated at nearly $44 billion through the loss of more than 650,000 jobs. In addition, nearly 800,000 caregivers suffer from absenteeism issues at work. There is a 40 percent increase in workplace absences in the months after a caregiving incident begins.
- Caregivers have poorer health than non-caregivers: A September 2020 BCBSA report The Impact of Caregiving on Mental and Physical Health, found that caregivers had 26 percent poorer health compared to non-caregivers due to the stress and pressure of caregiving.
“Caregivers are an invisible workforce,” said Dr. Richard Snyder, executive vice president, Facilitated Health Networks, and chief medical officer, Independence Blue Cross. “Time spent caregiving directly impacts caregivers’ work, pay and overall health. It’s imperative we find innovative ways to better support caregivers, help them stay healthy and ensure the overall health of our communities and the economy.”