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Nov 11, 2021
3 Ways a Serious Health Event Can Impact a Person’s Life

A serious health event doesn’t just take a toll on a person’s physical health, it can also affect one's mental health and make them feel as if they’ve lost control.

That’s a key finding of a new research report titled, “Regaining Control and Bouncing Back after the Unexpected,” conducted by Ipsos and sponsored by Cigna. The report is based on interviews with 1,000 adults who are employed full time and have experienced a serious health event in the past three years. Watch the video below for some of the insights gained from from interviews with people who have recently experienced a serious health event.

Below we deep dive into some of the most interesting findings from the Ipsos/Cigna research.

1. A Serious Health Event Impacts Financial Control

During a serious health event, one in three people said they experienced a loss of control. About one in five individuals experienced a loss of control over their finances during their health event. For most of them – seven in 10 – it took more than two months to regain control over their finances. Three in 10 say they still have not regained control of their finances. For those experiencing financial hardship, a negative impact on the ability to pay everyday household bills (31%) and the ability to afford big purchases such as a car or home (37%) were the top challenges.

2. A Health Event can Impact People’s Personal and Professional Lives

A negative health event can also have an impact on peoples’ personal and professional lives. Thirty percent of people interviewed said that the event they experienced had a negative impact on their relationships with family and friends. Additionally, 31% said the event had a negative impact on their work or career advancement.

3. It Takes a Toll on Mental Health as Well

Although those surveyed have experienced a significant physical health event, they are equally likely (18%) to rate both their physical and mental health as fair to poor during the event. Those who rated their mental health as fair to poor during a health event were less likely to have a support system in place, than those who rated their mental health as good or excellent. Three in 10 people who rated their mental health as fair to poor during the health event wish they sought mental health support in addition to physical care.

Rebounding From a Significant Health Event

Supplemental health coverage is designed to help people rebound from a significant health event. But many people, even those who have coverage, don’t always understand what’s included. Only two in five respondents said they felt knowledgeable about supplemental health insurance and wanted more support to help understand their options. Of those surveyed, 22% had some type of supplemental insurance when their health event occurred, but only about half of them said they truly understood what was covered. Supplemental insurance policies can help cover out-of-pocket medical expenses such as copays and deductibles, but they can also help with everyday expenses from utility bills, to groceries, or even childcare.

A whopping 75% of those interviewed said that having a supplemental health plan provided peace of mind during an unexpected health event. Seventy-two percent said that supplemental health plans make unexpected health events more affordable.

This data illustrates the need for more awareness around the benefits of supplemental health coverage, which can help to maintain physical, mental and financial control in the midst of a serious health event.

Regaining Control and Bouncing Back After the Unexpected

Insights from research and interviews with over 1,000 adults who experienced a serious health event.