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The Importance of Prioritising Your Health
28 June 2022

Written by Aaron Alston

After compiling claims data from two of Australia’s leading life insurers, it has shown me the areas Australian men and women are most at risk in today.  The below 4 risk categories are not in specific order, however account for the leading causes of claims.

  1. Mental Health – Mental Health conditions can severely affect all aspects of a person’s life, including their health, ability to study or work, and day-day interactions with family and friends. They cover a range of illnesses, including anxiety, and affective psychotic and substance use disorders.  If the claims statistics are anything to go by, it appears that Australians are struggling with their mental health more than ever.
  2. Cancer in Females – Breast Cancer – In 2020, it was estimated breast cancer would be the most diagnosed cancer, followed by colorectal cancer, melanoma of the skin and lung cancer.
  3. Cancer in Males – Prostate Cancer – In 2020, prostate cancer in men was considered the most diagnosed cancer, followed by melanoma of the skin, colorectal cancer and lung cancer.
  4. Musculoskeletal Conditions – An Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report found that musculoskeletal conditions were the fourth largest course of disease burden in Australia. Back problems accounted for 25% of chronic conditions for those aged 45-64.

Sources – AIA and Claims data

 

Insurance Claims data from TAL

TAL one of Australia’s leading Life Insurers paid $2.7 billion in the 2021/2022 financial year to 39,928 customers.

Of ALL CLAIMS ACCEPTED THE LEADING REASONS ARE LISTED BELOW

  • Mental Health (including PTSD and depression) – 18% of all the claims TAL accepted
  • Cancer (including breast & pancreatic cancer) – 17% of all the claims TAL accepted
  • Injuries and Fractures (joint and bone fractures) – 16% of all the claims TAL accepted
  • Musculoskeletal and Connective Tissue (back pain) – 13% of all the claims TAL accepted
  • Conditions of Circulatory System (heart attack and stroke) – 10% of all the claims TAL accepted

Other reasons for accepted claims included – 5% conditions of the nervous system, 4% conditions of the respiratory system, 2% condition of the digestive system and 15% other reasons.

Source – https://www.tal.com.au/claims/claims-paid

 

Insurance Claims data from AIA

AIA paid over $2.1 billion in retail, direct and group insurance claims.

Interestingly, Mental Health again was the leading cause of TPD, and Income Protection claims for AIA.  It accounted for 26% of female and 22% of male income protection claims and 26% of female and 28% of male TPD claims.

Source – https://www.aia.com.au/content/dam/au/en/docs/Adviser/claims-brochure-2021.pdf

 

It is never too early to get a health check

  • If you are a male this may mean taking a prostate, bowel, or skin cancer exam. If you are a female this may mean having a breast cancer screening.  BreastScreen Australia is a joint initiative of the Australian and state and territory governments and aims to reduce illness and death from breast cancer by detecting the disease early. Women over 40 can have a free mammogram every 2 years and they actively invite women aged 50 to 74 to screen, for the government website click here.
  • Mental Health – there are services such as https://www.beyondblue.org.au/ that provides information and support to help everyone in Australia achieve their best possible mental health.
  • For musculoskeletal health there are services such as https://ahpa.com.au/key-areas/musculoskeletal-health/

 

Summary

  • Health is one of the most valuable assets that a person can possess which in turn can help build financial wealth.
  • The leading causes for claims amongst insurers such as AIA and TAL are mental health, cancer, and musculoskeletal conditions.
  • Prevention is better than cure. It is better to stop something bad from happening than it is to deal with it after is has happened.

PS – I know this better than most because if I hadn’t kept up my regular skin checks, I may not be here to talk about it today 😊.





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