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FINANCIAL SERVICES, HEALTHCARE | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong
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Only 1 in 10 Hong Kongers think they are financially secure

Most people are not preparing for the future as they don't regard themselves as "old".

Hong Kong's overall health score has continued in a declining trend over the past three years, dropping from 59.9 in 2015 to 58.6 in 2017, the latest Cigna 360 Well-being Score Survey reveals. The survey results show that Hong Kong people, regardless of their age, often don't see themselves as "old" and are not financially prepared. Only 12% of respondents think they are financially secure should they be unable to work and only 17% perform well on current financial situation.

In terms of medical expenses, Hong Kong people tend to rely on their group medical insurance, however there is a big gap between actual medical needs and the coverage provided by employers. As a consequence, they often find themselves in a difficult situation financially and also jeopardize their family well-being. The lack of awareness of the implications of aging, deficiencies in coverage from work and lack of adequate financial preparation are all inter-related factors that could impact one's overall health and well-being.

Conducted for the third year, the Cigna 360 Well-being Score Survey examines the health and well-being of people annually across five indices - physical, social, family, financial, and workplace health and well-being - in 13 Asian and international markets.

"As people don't see themselves as old, they keep delaying their preparation for the future, and many of them have fallen into the 'age trap'," said Mr. Austin Marsh, CEO and Country Manager, Cigna Hong Kong, "The lack of financial preparation resulted in a drop in financial well-being according to this year's survey. While medical costs keep inflating, healthcare and medical expenses also climb with age. It is crucial for people to get prepared for their old age before falling into the age trap."

The survey also found a big gap between people's actual needs and work health coverage they get. Less than half of respondents receive the benefits they need from their current group medical insurance coverage. More than half (54%) of the respondents have had to pay medical expenses themselves or their families in the past 12 months with middle-aged people in the 40s and 50s spent most.

Among the five well-being indices, family, financial and workplace well-being scores all declined this year with financial well-being performing the lowest, scoring 50.2. Only physical and social well-being improved over the last year. The majority of respondents rated themselves as having performed poorly across all financial well-being indicators. More than half of the respondents said they were unable to meet their family's medical needs (53%) and those of their parents' (57%).

The lack of money to take care of family needs in turn spurred respondents to give up family time for work, and that is reflected in the biggest year-on-year drop of the family well-being score. Only 38% thought they spend enough time with their families, and only 34% said they are able to take care of their children's well-being and 28% of that of their parents'. 

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