Closing Asia's USD 1.8 trillion health protection gap
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Report offers insights to help improve Asian resilience
Access to quality, affordable healthcare is fundamental to our wellness, yet more than 40 million households in Asia forego medical treatment to avoid financial stress. Estimated at USD 1.8 trillion, Asia's health protection gap amounts to 10% of the average household income at just under USD 2,000 per household. Our research shows this gap is projected to grow as medical inflation rates continue to outpace consumer price index across all 12 markets surveyed.
The health protection gap is defined as the sum of financial stress arising from unforeseen, direct, out-of-pocket medical expenses and the unaffordable portion that households avoid. As consumers continue to face major challenges in how to fund access to healthcare, what lies ahead for insurers who want to offer solutions that help close this gap? Our research offers some insight in needs and how best to solve them.
- Prevention is better than cure
It is important to motivate consumers to achieve better health outcomes to minimise their medical need:
- Modify overconfidence in personal health status
Health improvement begins with more realistic health assessment, so that consumers do not underestimate their insurance protection needs
- Incentivise healthy behaviours
Consumers need to see progress and personal satisfaction to sustain behavioural change
- Design simple products to offer basic protection
Address the need for low- to medium-income consumer segments
- Harness data and technology to drive health outcomes
Integrate wearable technology with disease management or health improvement programmes