Dr Priya Chagan, TAL General Manager Health Services
The last two years have been a defining time navigating the global pandemic, and whilst the experience has given greater focus to the importance of good health, COVID-19 is continuing to have far-reaching consequences for many Australians, spanning physical, mental, and financial health.
As a financial adviser, the crucial role you play in enabling the financial health of your clients is well documented, but you can also have an important role to play when it comes to promoting physical and mental wellbeing.
Modelling positive behaviours around health prevention and ensuring that preventative health is discussed during annual client reviews may encourage clients to make better decisions regarding their health. Educating clients on the interconnectedness between physical, mental and financial health will also help them make informed health and wellbeing decisions.
The impact of the pandemic is evident in TAL’s research, which found that 40% of Australians delayed visiting their GP due to COVID-19, while 30% admitted they have not prioritised their skin health in the past year because of COVID-19.
These findings are echoed by a recent Cancer Australia1 report revealing substantial reductions in procedures for cancer-related investigations and treatment in 2020, with the observed number of therapeutic procedures related to melanoma 14% lower than expected nationally.
As Australia continues to ease COVID-19 restrictions, the value of prioritising our health is more relevant and important than ever. The same can be said for the value of prevention programs in enhancing the wellbeing of Australians, and at TAL we are determined to continue supporting you and your clients on this essential aspect of good health.
Our TAL SpotChecker program is a natural extension of our focus on preventative health. Now in its sixth year, SpotChecker seeks to actively reduce the impact of skin cancer by encouraging Australians to embrace skin safety and have regular skin checks.
Skin cancer is a bigger issue than many of us realise, with 2 in 3 Australians diagnosed with some form of skin cancer by the age of 70, according to the Cancer Council of Australia2. Research findings in the 2021 TAL SpotChecker Australian Skin Safety Report found that 29% of Australians have never had a professional skin check in their lifetime, a number that sat at 35% in 2020. While we have seen a positive shift, we know there remains a job to be done to empower and encourage people to be more actively involved in their skin health.
To support you with your client conversations around the importance of regular skin checks, we have developed a number of online resources and content around skin safety, which you can access here.
TAL Health Sense Plus: Rewarding your clients for looking after their health
TAL Health Sense Plus forms another part of TAL’s prevention program, developed to enhance the health and wellbeing of Australians.
Through this program we help your clients learn about the value of preventative screening tests, which can detect and even prevent many serious conditions, including cancer, diabetes and heart disease. In fact, research3 shows that over 50% of all cancers could be avoided with a combination of a healthy lifestyle and regular screening.
TAL Health Sense Plus reinforces the important role that preventative screening can play in detecting serious disease, and acts as an incentive for clients to proactively manage their health by rewarding them with lump sum discounts on their policy premiums.
Championing Australia to be a leader in strong preventative health outcomes
At TAL we continue to explore and talk about the role preventative health plays in helping Australians to live their best life through good health.
Together, we have a shared role in facilitating a greater understanding of these important topics and helping to enable healthier lives for all.
. https://www.canceraustralia.gov.au/ (2018)