For most Indians, work and finances are the reasons for stress and one in two respondents in India plan to finance their medical expenses in old age from their savings, followed by insurance.
For most Indians, work and finances are the reasons for stress and one in two respondents in India plan to finance their medical expenses in old age from their savings, followed by insurance. These are the findings of Cigna 360° Well-Being Survey. The findings reveal that stress levels are high in India compared with developed countries such as United States, UK, Germany and France and emerging economies including China, Brazil and Indonesia.
This year’s Cigna 360° Well-Being Survey underlines that India is on the top spot showing only slight decline in physical, social and family wellness while work and financial optimism shine. Millennials (18-34 years) in general are more upbeat about their health and wellness compared to older demographic groups.
Financially, the report says, women see themselves as performing better compared to other demographic groups. The dip in financial well-being is mostly about financial security if unable to work, and due to growing concerns about their ability to financially support parents and children.
The Cigna research reveal that while being socially isolated is a concern for some, a majority of people in India still believe in the strong family structure and are counting on being taken care of by either their spouse or children in old age.
Cigna TTK Health Insurance Company Limited, a stand-alone health insurance company, is a joint venture between the US-based Cigna Corporation and Indian conglomerate TTK Group.
The survey, covering 1,000 respondents in the age group of 25 years and above in 20 cities, found that four in 10 people in India have purchased health insurance for themselves. “The people who claim to be ready for older age are better at planning; they do regular health checks and own insurance. They are also more likely to be married with children, and a high proportion have full-time employment and are more affluent,” notes the report.
Most respondents in the survey said private healthcare is superior to public care on every aspect, except cost. As a result, there is a huge preference for private healthcare in India, with the majority utilising this system across all medical conditions. Most respondents are willing to share their healthcare data as they see the benefits for better treatment and lower costs. However, about half of the respondents say they would want to know how their data is being utilised. Being transparent is crucial, though, with about half of the respondents saying they would want to know how their data is being used.
“Private healthcare is used more for primary care, dental and eye-care. Potential tradeoff on cost represents an opportunity for an insurer to bridge this healthcare gap,” the report says.
Even as work and finances are the key reasons for the high level of stress, respondents gave a high score to workplace wellness. About half the respondents in the survey say they have received support and are participating in a workplace wellness programme. The majority, 87%, said that workplace wellness programmes are important in choosing between two potential employers.
The survey shows that India takes the top spot in the overall global well-being index for the fourth year running. The country only showed slight declines in physical, social and family wellness this year, while survey respondents remain optimistic about work and financial well-being. However, the largest percentage falls are in the physical such as weight and nutrition management, followed by sleep-related challenges.
In the social pillar, over 50% of people from India said they are not spending sufficient time with friends or have enough time for hobbies. The dip in family well-being is mostly due to growing concerns about the ability to financially support parents and children. The report says a person’s retirement savings plan should include future healthcare expenses and insurance coverage. Workplace wellness plans, regular health checks and investing time in social relationships will help avoid feelings of isolation in retirement.