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Health Insurance Providers Building a More Equitable Future


Published Nov 30, 2021 • by AHIP

For the last 2 years, we’ve been navigating a global health crisis that has thrown into sharp relief the social disparities that put many Americans at a disadvantage. Around the country we’re having tough, necessary conversations about race and social justice as we seek to ensure that everyone has opportunities to thrive. The COVID-19 crisis put tremendous pressure on an already strained system, laying bare existing health care inequities.

A 2021 study from Anthem found that almost 60% of surveyed Americans said that their communities are facing issues caused by social barriers to health. Access to safe housing, healthy foods, and transportation are some of the factors that have an impact on long-term health and wellness.

“With the substantial amounts of data we can access, health insurance providers can use analytics to shine a light on race-based disparities in health care,” said Gregory E. Deavens, President & CEO, Independence Health Group. Health insurance providers have a unique opportunity to have lasting impact on the health of individuals, families, and communities.

Every American deserves access to affordable, high-quality care and health coverage, regardless of race, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, or disability. And that’s why health insurance providers are working with local, state, and federal partners to build a more equitable health care system.

  • Portland Fire & Rescue is teaming up with CareOregon to launch the Community Health Assess & Treat pilot program to address low-risk medical 9-1-1 calls and connect patients to health and social care providers.
  • In Washington, D.C., Group Hospitalization and Medical Services, Inc. (a CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield affiliate), has partnered with Mayor Muriel Bowser and DC Appleseed to create a $95 million fund to address health care disparities in underserved communities.
  • Research from Athena Health found that patients in low-income zip codes were less likely to receive recommended care.
  • In the wake of the disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 crisis on minority communities, LA Care established a Chief of Equity and Quality In this position, Dr. James Kyle will lead the company’s enterprise-wide equity and social justice efforts.
  • When the New York City Board of Health declared racism to be a public health crisis, Healthfirst praised it as “a vital step in the right direction” to achieve better health outcomes for all New Yorkers.

Read more about how health insurance providers are advancing health equity.