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It’s time to get proactive about our health and our insurance

By: Frank Morang, Regional Sales Director, Empire Region

Back in June, I shared a personal story about a recent health scare. I was a part of one of those dramatic statistics that we share in our industry, but don’t really think about deeply or apply to ourselves. Since sharing the story of my triple bypass surgery, I’ve had more time to reflect and more time to look closely at why people can be so blasé about the risks. I even had a chance to present my story and my conclusions at Trustmark's Producer Conference and I think it’s vital to share them here as well. People need to understand the risks of illness, why the message often isn’t getting through about those risks and how we can help fix the situation. 

The first thing I’d say is that it’s incredibly important to share personal stories about the health risks people face. Trustmark’s own research bears this out as we’ve found that emotional reasons are the primary driver of an employee’s purchasing decision.1 And, to further the point, after sharing my own story, a colleague of mine was inspired to look into his own health issue. He too had a major blockage in his heart that required stenting. He has since told me that he believes my story may have saved his life. Connecting personally and emotionally with people on the need to be proactive about their health is the first step to raising awareness and protecting people.

Why aren’t people checking in more frequently with their doctor?

Too often conditions are left untreated because people take a passive approach to their health. Mine and my colleague’s stories are prime example of why it is important that you be actively engaged in your health and take an active role in monitoring and seeking early detection to avoid more serious outcomes. So why aren’t people seeing their doctor more regularly to check up on conditions?

For men the top reasons are2
  • I don’t have a doctor
  • I don’t have insurance
  • There’s probably nothing wrong
  • I don’t have time
  • I don’t want to spend the money
  • I don’t want to hear what I might be told
  • I’d rather tough it out
And for women3:
  • I can’t afford the costs
  • I couldn’t find the time
  • I couldn’t take time off work
How can we help?

Looking over the reasons that people are putting off looking into their health there seem to be two major obstacles: not prioritizing their health and not being able to afford treatment. As mentioned above, using personal stories that people can connect to emotionally is an effective way to raise awareness about the need to pay attention to their health and to have financial protection. Again, our research found that it’s not statistics and figures that motivate people; it’s an emotional connection.

But to tackle the financial hurdles that people face, consumers need insurance protection which can support them throughout the course of their illness. Providing benefits once a condition has become critical is necessary, but as an industry, insurance should be looking at more ways to provide support earlier. That will help get people the treatment they need, support them being proactive about their health and help to prevent these conditions from becoming critical.

The risks are real, the need for awareness is real and the need to help support people facing illnesses and serious conditions in a proactive approach is clear. To be a part of the solution, offer to share personal stories in a relatable way that employees can connect with and provide insurance products that support a more proactive approach.

Contact us to learn how Trustmark is taking a proactive approach to critical illness insurance.

1 Trustmark and Customer Benefits Analytics, “Who Buys Voluntary and Why: 2017 Enrollment Study.”
2 The American Heart Association. Top 10 reasons men put off doctor visits. Apr. 15 2017.
3 Kaiser Family Foundation. 

Posted on February 26, 2019 in Critical Illness Employee Communication

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