Majority of Indians Pay for their Own Medical Expenses: Survey

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MUMBAI:
A whopping 62 per cent of Indians burnt a hole in their pockets by paying for their own medical expenses in 2016, according to the 2017 Cigna 360° Well-being Score – India Report unveiled today by Cigna TTK Health Insurance. The exhaustive survey reveals that Indians primarily depend on their own savings when it comes to funding health
emergenciesand also underscored the low penetration of health insurance in the country. While85 per cent are covered by private medical insurance, nearly two-thirds of medical expensesare self-funded. Local government and public welfare schemes contribute a paltry 7 per cent. Both employer-provided and self-purchased insurance accounts for 13 percent.
About 15 per cent of the populace is not covered by either private or government insurance schemes. Cigna TTK Health Insurance MD and CEO Sandeep Patelobserved, “Cigna 360° Well- being survey highlights three major areas that we as a country should focus on – healthcare moving into digital, financial stability and preparing for retirement. The study enables us to understand the diversity of the Indian customer. It points out a need for providing health insurance solutions for customers, focusing on affordability, ease of transaction, accessibility, and
overall security.”
Family and Finance Health Index decline
According to the survey, the Family and Finance Health Index dropped in 2016. The Family India 2016 Index scoredropped 3.7 points to 76.2, from 79.9 in 2015. The decline in the Financial India 2016 Index score was relatively less at 0.3 points,from 66 to 65.7.A large majority of Indians are concerned about their health, particularly heart disease, diabetes and accidents followed by obesity and sleep disorder. For parents, the situation is getting worst year on year; in 2016 only 54 % can take care of their parents’ financial needs in 2016 versus 70 % in 2015. Financial Health Index goes down further in 2016, and remains the lowest scoring pillar among all.However, the overall India Family Health Index score was slightly higher at 73,against 72.8 in 2015.
Indians embracing health and wellness apps In an interesting finding, healthcare apps are becoming increasingly popular in India— and the trend is only growing. Indians are using apps to track and monitor their medical symptoms and improve health. Around 59 percent of respondents said that their use of medical apps and devices
had increased over the past year. Measuring health and fitness goals will be the next digital health management activity, though the cost of installation remains a concern, the survey reveals.
Notwithstanding the ongoing debate over data privacy, two-thirds of Indians are willing to share health data with third parties.
The 2017 Cigna 360° Well-being Score is the third annual research study from Cigna, the global health services company which provides a wide range of employer, individual and supplemental health benefit products and services. The survey monitors and tracks the annual evolution of key emotional and psychological well-being indicators across 13 markets. The well-being scores are calculated based on five weighted pillars — physical, financial, work health, family health and social health.
Importance of workplace wellness
The study showed that workplace wellness programs were not yet a strong reason to select an employer, but were frequently cited as a reason to stay with an employer in India. Their importance as a retention tool was higher for the 25 to 29-year- old segment Indians don’t believe in growing old.
The perception of ‘old age’ in India is among the lowest globally. Indians prefer to work even in their retirement years, tostay mentally and physically active rather than for money.This mindset peaks in the 50-59 age group, probably due to the fear of old age and life expectancy.
Among other reasons, people like to engage in things they enjoy doing or support other people and causes. The
idea is to stay “involved” long after retirement.
Increasing socio-economic concerns
Most respondents expressed growing concern oversocio-economic issues where unemployment or underemployment, high cost of living and food safety topped the category. In addition, increasing pollution levels and global warming werethe two major environmental concerns.
Research Methodology
* The ‘Cigna TTK 360° Well-being Score’ survey was conducted in 13 countries with a sample size of over 14,219 respondents.
* In India, over 1,517 respondents were covered through a 20-minute quantitative online survey covering 10 cities (metro and non-metro)
* Respondents included a mix of males and females above the age of 25
* ‘Cigna TTK 360° Well-being Score’ is an independent study commissioned by Cigna and conducted by Ipsos

 

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