Social Determinants Of Health Can Power Wellness

posted by AHIP

on August 7, 2018

Not every health care problem can—or should—be addressed with a prescription pad. A person’s health is influenced by everything from stress and diet to housing and transportation. By improving the health of our communities, we can improve the health of individual people.

The idea that our health can be shaped by our environment—where we grow, live, work, play and age—is not new. But by applying what we know about social determinants of health, we can not only improve individual and community health, but also advance health equity and give people greater peace of mind.

Insurance providers are uniquely suited to help populations of all sizes lead healthier lives. They work hard to understand all of the factors that determine your health, then provide access to the care you need when you need it—without breaking the bank. We are driven to keep people healthy, because when you do better, we all do better.

Here are a few facts about how we improve the health of our members and our communities:

  • Insurance providers use data about social determinants of health to create new programs to help people in their communities become healthier.

For example, these programs may promote healthier diets, improve living conditions inside your home, or help you get to and from your appointments. By improving community health, insurance providers help bring health care costs and premiums down for consumers.

  • Social determinants of health are not used to set premiums. Health plans are closely regulated in every state and by the federal government. There are specific rules, regulations and requirements for setting premiums– and the use of social data is strictly prohibited.
  • Health insurance providers are committed to safeguarding all consumer and patient data.

We meet and exceed strict federal and state requirements to protect individual member information. We remain vigilant by continuously improving our security solutions and defense and adopting the latest and most proven approaches to keep bad actors out of our systems.

Technology is a great resource. It also comes with a serious responsibility to protect the information and privacy of the people we serve. By making the best use of the technologies available, insurance providers can drive affordability, choice, and value, while providing consumers with the simplified access, integrated care, and customized access they expect and deserve.

  • When it comes to health care coverage, we grow when we cover more people and help them stay healthier longer—not by driving up costs for fewer people. We are committed to ensuring that every American has affordable coverage and high-quality care—no matter where they live or how much they make.

Health insurance providers are working to get everyone covered with affordable coverage that helps them get healthier faster and stay healthier longer. We work with doctors to approve more than 98 percent of claims, and we cover more than 80 percent of the total cost of medical care, delivering the protection, security and peace of mind consumers need.

Recent media coverage about social determinants of health misrepresents and sensationalizes details to scare consumers. These reports fundamentally misunderstand how health insurance works in America and blatantly distort how health care plans use consumer and social economic data.

Crafting a system based on very expensive coverage for a very small, select group of people—either only the very wealthy who can afford it, or the very sick who have no alternative but to have it—is against everything insurance providers stand for, everything we advocate for, and everything we invest in.

Health insurance providers fight for lower health care costs for members. That includes negotiating with doctors, hospitals and drug companies, and passing the savings on to consumers. It also includes helping you get healthier faster and stay healthier longer. By focusing on social determinants, health insurance providers can help you enjoy better health and financial security.

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