October 5, 2022
Financial concerns are the focus, busy schedules push health to the backseat
MIRAMAR, Fla., October 5, 2022 – New research released today by MDLIVE, an Evernorth company and leading provider of virtual care services, reveals that personal health is taking a backseat to the health of homes and cars as people return to fall routines and priorities heading towards the end of the year.
According to the survey of 2,000 adults, most people (67%) view fall as a time to get back into routines, pointing to reprioritizing schedules, getting kids started in the new school year and prepping for winter. However, only 20% of people say they are on top of routine doctor visits. Instead, people are prioritizing the health of their home (71%) and their car (63%), more so than are focused on routine, preventive care for their personal health (57%).
“As COVID concerns continue to fall, and economic concerns remain top of mind, people are focusing their attention on maintaining the health of their things over the health of themselves,” said Dr. Vontrelle Roundtree, interim chief medical officer, MDLIVE. “We aren’t prioritizing our health even though we know that wellness and other routine screenings are the first line of defense against many common illnesses and addressing early signs of those conditions can often keep them from becoming chronic. It’s important to make a plan to get those preventive screenings, especially any you might have delayed during the pandemic.”
Time, or lack of it, is a major factor preventing people from prioritizing their health routines. Despite many people (56%) recognizing that putting off personal health affects how well they can care for other aspects of their lives, nearly half (47%) say they put off routine health because they are too busy.
Not surprisingly, the research showed that more people are currently concerned about their financial health (72%) than are concerned about their personal health (59%). More than one in three (39%) say prioritizing health would be too expensive or force them to dip into money they have earmarked for other things.
“The majority of people with employer-sponsored health insurance have access to low-cost or no-cost preventive care, and millions can now access routine preventive care virtually through their health plan,” said Dr. Roundtree. “It’s incredibly convenient to fit into busy schedules and enables people to stay on top of important preventive care like wellness screenings and chronic care management.”
When people do focus on routine health, the survey found that they generally tend to focus on the health of their kids or the health of their partner over their own health. However, when they do focus on preventive health care, people usually do so due to a feeling of fear (31%) or anxiety (39%) around their health.
According to Dr. Roundtree, there are three simple steps people can take as part of a fall preventive health routine that are low-cost and require little time:
Keep up on vaccines: Some experts predict a challenging flu season combined with the risk of other infectious diseases, all while bracing for a potential surge in COVID. It’s critical to get your flu shot and stay up to date on COVID boosters.
Stay current on screenings: During COVID, screening rates for different diseases fell, so many people may be overdue. Take an inventory on any overdue doctor visits or preventive care, such as screenings for breast and cervical, colorectal, and skin cancer, and make the time to get them done. Check with your health plan to see your options, such as virtual wellness screenings that can save you a trip to the doctor’s office and may be available to you at a $0 copay depending on your health plan.
Take control of chronic conditions: People living with chronic conditions should do a check-in with their doctor to review their full medication list and dosages, to make sure they are up to date and to determine if anything should be changed or stopped.
MDLIVE, an Evernorth company, is a leading provider of virtual health care services in the U.S. We work with our health plan, health system, and self-insured employer partners to give patients simple, convenient and affordable access to the highest quality medical and behavioral health care, 24/7, from the comfort and safety of their homes. With a vision and passion for changing health care for the better, we are working to improve the patient experience, close the patient-provider accessibility gap, and bring providers opportunities to augment the services they currently offer. More than 62 million individuals nationwide have access to MDLIVE as a covered benefit through their health plans and employers. To learn more about MDLIVE, visit www.MDLIVE.com, download our app, or text “Sophie” to MDLIVE (635483) to register.
Amy Trow, (412) 377-3771
Ann Smith/Nicole Francisco