A recent survey by Aditya Birla Health Insurance Co. Ltd. across 19 cities in India on the perceptions and willingness to spend on health insurance has thrown up some interesting facts.
The study “The New Health Normal” revealed that 85 per cent of the population prefers cutting down on luxury items and spending more on health insurance.
Of the 6,600 respondents, over half claimed to have set aside money for medical emergencies, and 84 per cent believe their health and wellness-related awareness has increased post-Covid.
However, many respondents said they are hesitant to reach out to experts for mental health talks. While 89 per cent of the respondents believe health insurance should include mental health consultation, 35 per cent were hesitant to consult experts because of the cost implication.
In addition, nearly one in every three respondents, or 32 per cent, do not regularly monitor health stats, such as weight and blood pressure.
The report, released on Friday, noted that the rising uncertainty and anxiety alongside the Covid-19 pandemic brought a strong focus on the issue of mental health.
Two out of three respondents said they avoided sessions with experts because of cost. The report underscored the need to increase awareness of mental health issues.
Regarding the findings, Mayank Bathwal, CEO of Aditya Birla Health Insurance , said, “Due to the pandemic, people are realising the importance of a health-focused lifestyle and are actively seeking avenues to support this healthy lifestyle online and offline.”
Bathwal has the Covid pandemic has impacted people’s behavior in many ways—the technology they use, how they monitor their diet, exercise regularly, etc.
“However, as ever, adopting a new habit is a challenge for most, and the need of the hour is to motivate and encourage people to complete the last mile in their health journey,” he added.
Other Key Findings
The survey found that more than half of the respondents searched or watched online fitness videos, while 69 per cent used wearables to check their health stats.
One in every three respondents (32 per cent) admit they do not monitor their health regularly, such as weight and blood pressure. Another revelation was people’s attention to financial preparedness for medical emergencies. The report said that the pandemic had changed their outlook toward financial readiness, especially regarding medical urgency.
Health insurance awareness has also increased in the past few years. Around 52 per cent of respondents said they have planned for medical emergencies. Also, more than 78 per cent of the respondents said they seek employers that insure their family’s medical expenses.