Living with COVID-19, but health and financial concerns linger

| 14 Feb 2022

In the third of a series of surveys conducted by Manulife to look into the concerns, priorities and aspirations of people living across Asia, nearly half of the respondents have accepted that COVID-19 is here to stay for another year or more and have changed their health, digital, and financial habits to match the new normal, even as concerns about their income and overall wellbeing persist.

Staying healthy

In a time of uncertainty, people appear to be focused on areas of their lives that are within their control, such as maintaining their own health. The survey found that more are exercising and using health apps. A majority identified the benefits of regular exercise as a means to boost immunity (67%) and improve mental health (64%). Mobile apps to monitor and track health status are popular, with nearly nine in 10 people (89%) saying that they are using, or are open to using, health and wellbeing apps. Two in five respondents (40%) also say they are exercising more since the start of the pandemic. More than half (52%) prefer outdoor exercise, with walking (57%), jogging (50%), and cycling (27%) being the top three most common physical activities.

Getting insured

Interest in buying new and additional insurance remains high, with 71% of respondents indicating plans to purchase an insurance product this year. Heading the list of popular insurance products are life (28%) and health (28%), followed by hospitalisation and critical illness (each at 26%). Among those surveyed, 66% view retirement planning as important since the pandemic, with 19% being interested in buying retirement products in the next 12 months.

This latest version of the Manulife Asia Care Survey was conducted in November 2021 via online self-completed questionnaires in eight markets across Asia, including Mainland China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Vietnam. A total of 8,276 people, aged 25 to 60 years old, were surveyed. The respondents included insurance owners and those who did not own insurance but intend to purchase it.