Social Determinants of Health

Not every health care problem can—or should—be addressed with a prescription pad. Experts say that 70% of a person’s health is determined by factors other than medical care.

There are important social or financial conditions that influence our health, like safe housing, reliable transportation, and access to healthy foods. Health insurance providers are building new solutions to address these social barriers.

68% of Americans say they have challenges in at least one risk category that might qualify as a social
barrier to health.

Health insurance providers are implementing innovative solutions to:

  • Promote healthier diets. Health Care Service Corporation and the Blue Cross Blue Shield Institute are partnering to provide foodQ, a healthy food delivery service that brings nutritious, affordable meals directly to people living in areas that lack adequate access to fresh foods that make up a healthy diet.

  • Improve living conditions inside the home. Florida Blue is partnering with Papa, a nationwide provider of senior services, to offer assistance with house chores, companionship, and other support services to Americans 65+ on Medicare Advantage plans.

  • Fight homelessness and improve housing affordability. In 2019, CVS Health and Aetna invested $67 million in affordable housing, creating more than 2,200 affordable homes with supportive services for individuals and families across 24 cities in 6 states.

  • Help people get to and from medical appointments. Cigna-Health Spring is partnering with rideshare company Lyft to facilitate transportation to and from doctors and pharmacies for non-emergency health care services.

Check out these helpful one-pagers on related health care issues.

Read more about related health care issues by downloading one of our helpful one-pagers or click the button to see our full list of resources.