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Health planning lowest among young Indians, says HDFC Life's Life Freedom Index

The survey also reveals that health planning is looked at only after fulfilling some financial goals

A dengue patient

A dengue patient

M Saraswathy Mumbai
Health planning is still lacking among Indians across all categories, especially among young Indians, says a survey.

HDFC Life’s Life Freedom Index, which was focussed on health planning this year, sought to understand and measure the comprehensiveness of health planning of Indian consumers — whether they monitored their health plans regularly and under what circumstances did they modify their health plans.

The health planning index (HPI) stood at 40.1, indicating lack of health planning across all the four categories. It observed that Young Aspirants had the lowest HPI with a score of 29.4, while Wisdom Investors scored 46.9. This suggested that the focus on health increased with age.

The health index looks at Health Plan Comprehensiveness, Health Plan Review and Event Awareness. The state of health planning was measured across four consumer segments — Proud Parents (PP), Wisdom Advisor (WI), Young Aspirant (YA) and Smart Woman (SW).

PP is a person who contributes the most to the household income and is the key financial decision maker of the family, is in the age group of 30 – 45 years and falls under the Socio Economic Classification (SEC) groups A and B. Wisdom Investor (WI) is a person who is aged between 45 and 60 years and falls under the Socio Economic Classification (SEC) groups A and B. Young Aspirant (YA) is a person who is aged 20 to 30 years and falls under the Socio

Economic Classification (SEC) groups A and B. Smart Women (SW) is a woman aged 25 to 45 years and falls under the Socio Economic Classification (SEC) groups A and B. The Socio Economic Classification (SEC), groups urban Indian households on the basis of education and occupation of the Proud Parent into five segments (SEC A, SEC B, SEC C, SEC D and SEC E households).

The survey showed nearly half of Indian consumers across all categories have not drawn out a health plan. Moreover, only 9 per cent of them have a comprehensive plan which covers all their short and long-term health contingencies. WIs lead among all categories in health planning as 64 per cent of them have a health plan.

Health planning lowest among young Indians, says HDFC Life's Life Freedom Index
Also, it showed that critical illness (46 per cent) was the top trigger for realigning health plans. Apart from this, achieving certain age milestones (22 per cent) was the second major turning point as far as health planning was concerned. Wisdom Investors were the most concerned about age milestones. Young Aspirants were also concerned about loss of income, which the survey said can be attributed to lack of job security among them.

Only 61 per cent of PPs have a health plan, while only 13 per cent said they have a comprehensive plan that covered all their short- and long-term health contingencies. While 43 per cent of Young Aspirants have started planning for their future, only 2 per cent believe that they have a comprehensive health plan. It was also noticed that health planning differed significantly between SEC classes, but was similar across Tier-1 and -2 cities.

The survey had 1,600 respondents (termed as Indian consumers) that was conducted from January 8 to February 14 across 10 cities — Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Indore, Bhubaneswar, Chennai, Delhi, Kochi, Kolkata, Ludhiana and Mumbai.

How often do you review your health plan?
  Indian consumer Proud Parent Smart Women Young Aspirant Wisdom Advisor
Very regularly  11 14 10 6 13
Somewhat regularly 25 30 24 18 29
Once a while 15 17 11 11 22
Do not update my health contingency plan 2 1 1 3 1
Do not have a health contingency plan 48 39 54 62 36
Source: HDFC Life's Life Freedom Index; All figures in %

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First Published: May 30 2016 | 12:37 AM IST

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