Today, Aetna (NYSE: AET) released the results of its inaugural Health
Ambitions Study, which explores consumers’ health goals and the
relationship between consumers and providers in the evolving health care
system. The study finds that people, particularly women, are paying
attention to their holistic health, as they seek resources that better
support both health and wellbeing.
If given an extra hour in the day, 60 percent of people said they would
spend it on mental and physical wellbeing activities (67 percent of
women compared to 44 percent of men). Forty-five percent of women say
they have a stress reduction health goal, compared to 28 percent of men.
Still, 50 percent of women say they are very likely to take their
doctors’ recommendations, compared to 61 percent of men, highlighting an
opportunity to improve how the industry engages women on their health
“Women are often the primary caregiver for their families,” said Aetna
President Karen Lynch. “So, when it comes to health and lifestyle goals,
women need more support to feel confident in their health decisions for
themselves and others. We recognize the value of highly-personalized,
local, consumer-centric care, and we believe we are in a unique position
to help transform the health system to better meet the needs of all
The Health Ambitions Study finds that fewer women believe that their
doctors understand their health needs, as 70 percent of women say their
doctors are aware of their lifestyle habits, compared to 81 percent of
The study reveals the importance of providing simple, accessible
solutions to help consumers achieve their health goals. Overall,
respondents say it is very important that their doctors talk in a way
they can easily understand (77 percent), have office appointments when
they need them (66 percent) and offer access to other health care
professionals to coordinate care (59 percent).
Gender Differences in Health ExperiencesMen say they are
more confident that doctors understand their health lifestyles. More
than three-quarters (80 percent) of men say their doctor is familiar
with their health goals, compared to 65 percent of women.
Caring for the Sandwich GenerationThe study illuminates the
health and wellness needs of the Sandwich Generation—those who manage
the health needs of both their children and their parents.
Encouragingly, nearly all consumers in the Sandwich Generation say their
doctors spend enough time answering questions (85 percent), offer access
to other health care professionals (84 percent) and have office
appointments when needed (77 percent).
Mental Health & Stress SupportWhen it comes to
supporting holistic health, consumers want access to resources that
address mental health and stress reduction. More than one-third say they
have a stress reduction (40 percent) or a mental health goal (36
Doctors play a critical role in the network of support, with respondents
saying it is important that their primary care physician be familiar
with their mental health history (86 percent) and ability to manage
stress (84 percent).
Transformation of CareThe study further reveals a clear
opportunity to transform the way health care is delivered in the U.S.
Doctors are seeking greater access to community and health resources to
better serve their patients. In fact, over half of physicians (54
percent) say that mental health counselors are very important, yet only
7 percent say they have excellent access to this vital community
Other notable findings of the survey include:
For more information on the Health Ambitions Study and the ways in which
Aetna is meeting the health care needs of consumers, go to https://news.aetna.com/health-ambitions-survey.
MethodologyAetna’s inaugural Health Ambitions Study,
conducted in December 2017, included two distinct surveys fielded by
Market Measurement, a custom market research firm. The consumer survey
comprised 1,000 responses from consumers 18 and older. The physician
survey comprised 400 responses divided among 200 primary care doctors
and 200 specialists, all of whom have at least two years of experience.
Aetna is one of the nation’s leading diversified health care benefits
companies, serving an estimated 40.3 million people with information and
resources to help them make better informed decisions about their health
care. Aetna offers a broad range of traditional, voluntary and
consumer-directed health insurance products and related services,
including medical, pharmacy, dental and behavioral health plans, and
medical management capabilities, Medicaid health care management
services, workers’ compensation administrative services and health
information technology products and services. Aetna’s customers include
employer groups, individuals, college students, part-time and hourly
workers, health plans, health care providers, governmental units,
government-sponsored plans, labor groups and expatriates. For more
information, see www.aetna.com
and learn about how Aetna is helping to build a healthier world.
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