Bupa Global has released the latest Global Top Executive & HNWIs Wellbeing Index, examining the health challenges and rising interest in holistic wellness for private medical insurance.
The research was conducted in May to June 2021, surveying a total of 600 Hong Kong (HK) and Mainland China (CHN) senior executives with liquid assets over HK$10.8 million (CNY8.98 million) across a range of industries in the two markets. The report reveals a concerning state of mental health amongst executives and a growing willingness to increase spending on top-notch private medical insurance that provides personalised services and coverage for preventative healthcare.
Catering directly to the needs and lifestyles of HNWIs, Bupa Global has also unveiled its brand-new Private Client service proposition together with the Ultimate Health Plan, offering the market's first and most exclusive personalised healthcare service for high-end customers.
- Insights show there is continued impact from the pandemic, with 80% of HK top executives/ HNWIs having experienced mental health symptoms over the past year, with the most common issues being anxiety (58%) and disturbed sleeps (45%). The two top worries keeping them up at night are business uncertainty (61%) and tough decisions at work (60.5%).
- Despite 53% of HK top executives/ HNWIs saying they are health conscious; 55.5% admit they have fast-paced life and 51.5% always work overtime.
- HK and CHN top executives/ HNWIs currently dedicate an average 8.3% of their budget on healthcare and medical protection. Next year, HK executives intend to spend 12.4% more on self-funded private medical insurance with "stronger focus preventative healthcare" being a top consideration, while CHN executives are likely to increase budgets by 20.4%.
- Over 70% of HK top executives/ HNWIs in Hong Kong expect premium medical insurance companies to evolve from a health insurer to a lifecare partner expecting a medical concierge to provide holistic wellbeing support that is personalised to their needs (63%), offer professional advice on maintaining both physical and mental health, as well as preventative healthcare (64.5%)
Despite being health-conscious, top executives in Hong Kong and China face numerous physical and mental health challenges
More than half of HK and CHN top executives (53.0%) describe themselves as health-conscious, even though only a quarter say they maintain work-life balance. In Hong Kong, 55 % of top executives admit they have fast-paced life and 51.5% always work overtime. Work-life balance has naturally become a concern for the majority of executives, especially for younger executives aged 18-29 (70%) and 30-39 (58.7%).
In both Hong Kong and Mainland China, more executives have experienced health issues over the past 12 months. Male executives tend to face health challenges more commonly than female in Hong Kong, made evident by the three most common issues faced, i.e. high blood pressure (19.2%; 11.3%), overweight and obesity (15.8%; 10%) and high cholesterol (15.8%; 7.5%).
Along with physical health challenges, the mental health of HK and CHN top executives is even more concerning. Over three quarters of HK executives admit to experiencing mental health symptoms over the past 12 months (78%), with the most common issue being anxiety (58%), double the figure in China (29%). More prevalent in Hong Kong than Mainland China is disturbed sleep (45.5%; 37.5%) and lack of energy/feeling fatigued (39%; 37.5%). Alarmingly, 2% of HK executives have experienced hallucinations and 4.5% have had thoughts about hurting themselves or others. The major kinds of worries keeping them up at night are business uncertainty (61%) and facing tough decisions at work (60.5%).
Female executives in Hong Kong experience a heavier mental burden because of responsibilities at home and at work
Comparatively, female executives in Hong Kong face a greater burden as a result of carrying out responsibilities at home and at work. According to the survey, female executives tend to work more out of office hours than male executives (61%; 45%). In fact, 70% of female executives worry about dealing with challenges at work and half of them feel like their personal freedom has been reduced, a proportion that is significantly higher than that for male executives (50% and 23.3%).
HK top executives are taking action for greater wellbeing while relying more on insurers
Faced with increasing health challenges, most HK top executives hope to exercise more regularly and improve their diet. In addition, Hong Kong is more broad-minded when it comes to mental health, as over half (52.5%) of HK top executives are open to embracing the issue, compared to just 36.5% in China.
One in ten (8.5%) HK top executives have also sought help for their mental health from their insurer, which is considerably higher than just 4.0% in the Bupa Global survey last year. Overall, HK top executives are more aware of professional mental health support, with 13.5% of them saying they have spoken to a doctor/mental health expert and 8% via virtual consultation, compared to just 8.4% seeking professional help last year.
To meet the higher demand for professional support, insurers as the healthcare partner, are expected to play a greater role in maintaining people's overall wellbeing.
"The 2021 Bupa Global Wellbeing Index has revealed an increasing awareness of mental health and wellbeing amongst senior executives in Hong Kong and Mainland China. It is encouraging to see that despite prevailing health challenges and pressures, leaders are taking a more proactive approach to care for their own wellbeing. We are committed to understanding and responding to our customers' needs, supporting them in their individual healthcare journeys to achieve holistic wellness," said Neil Kirby, Marketing and Consumer Sales Director, Bupa Global.
Private medical insurance is more than protection; it offers personalised concierge services with end to end health management, including mental and preventative care
Despite health being one of their leading priorities, HK and CHN top executives allocate an average budget of just 8.3% to healthcare and medical protection, a spending level lower than other tangible items, such as entertainment-related activities (10.2%) and fashion/luxury goods (13.4%). Nonetheless, over the next 12 months, 54.5% of HK top executives/ HNWIs will increase spending on medical insurance plan, up 25.9% compared to the same study in 2020. They intend to spend 12.4% more on self-funded private medical insurance, while in Mainland China, executives show stronger interest in enhancing medical protection with a plan to spend an additional 20.4% compared to this year's budget.
What's clear is that preventative healthcare and mental health support are key differentiators when choosing an individual health plan, as "stronger focus on preventative healthcare" has become the top consideration for most HK executives (70.5%). With awareness of mental health also gaining momentum, the majority of HK executives (60.5%) are also demanding greater coverage for related support such as psychologist and psychiatrist treatments, significantly higher than the figures last year (27.2%).
Top executives are increasingly demanding personalised services that cater to their lifestyle and individual needs. Over 70% of top executives in Hong Kong want premium medical insurance companies to evolve from a mere health insurer to a lifecare partner with dedicated medical concierge, managed by a known individual with a deep understanding of the insured and their family, as well as a personal manager for administrative and one-stop services.
Expectations go beyond a healthy body and mind - wellness is the ultimate state of balance
Overall wellness has emerged as the preference to optimise physical and mental health. The majority of HK top executives (70.5%) see wellness going beyond a healthy body and mind, but also feeling connected to people and the community while contributing to a more sustainable and natural environment.
While close to a quarter of HK executives considered themselves "Not well or Not well at all", they are leaning towards medical insurance companies to provide more holistic wellbeing support that is personalised to their needs (63%), offers professional advice on maintaining both physical and mental health, as well as preventative healthcare (64.5%). Among various wellness programmes, they are receptive to participating in wellness programmes such as aromatherapy (73%) and alternative therapies such as hypnotherapy (60.5%), which indicate a need for high end insurance plan to cover related treatments as part of their health management support.
Kirby said, "We know our customers are seeking preventative healthcare for holistic wellness, as well as personalised services among high-end customers. In response, Bupa Global is launching the first-in-market Private Client service and has made enhancements to our top-tier Ultimate Health Plan, which include strong health protection and preventative healthcare elements as well as Lifecare Concierge. Our Private Clients can also share their health screening results with our senior clinical staff at their discretion, so that we can pre-emptively manage potential conditions and advise the best course of action in line with their Health Plan."
Bupa Global launches new Private Client service setting a new personalised healthcare standard
Going beyond healthcare, the exclusive Private Client service that comes with the Ultimate Health Plan offers global and speedy managed access for discerning HNWIs. Benefiting from an extensive global network and an unlimited overall annual coverage, the insured will have fast access to the leading facilities and private healthcare specialists globally. With comprehensive coverage including day-to-day care, treatment for serious illnesses, health screening and wellness programmes, clients can be supported with their holistic wellness through Lifecare.
As a Private Client, those who select the Ultimate Health Plan also receive a dedicated Lifecare manager, and supported by 24/7 Lifecare Concierge services. The manager will provide all-rounded support such as booking appointments, helping with administrative tasks, connecting clients with experts for second medical opinions and arranging medical or non-medical evacuation services. Equipped with a profound understanding of the client's needs, lifestyle and preferences, the Lifestyle Concierge can directly address all enquiries quickly and unobtrusively with just a phone call or email, allowing our clients to have peace of mind about their wellness.
 200 Hong Kong and 400 mainland China top executives/ HNWIs participated in the survey
 Bupa Global Research Report, released on 22 July 2020
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