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Health Insurers Addressing Social Needs: Opportunities for Effective Social Spending and Returns on Investment

Gehris, Lysia Jacqueline (2023) Health Insurers Addressing Social Needs: Opportunities for Effective Social Spending and Returns on Investment. Master Essay, University of Pittsburgh.

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Unmet social needs pose a widespread and expensive detriment to the health of every individual. These social factors that influence health are not sufficiently addressed by the United States government, leaving health insurers with the task to meet the needs of their members. These win-win relationships of offering programs that meet members’ needs while realizing a health expenditure saving can be coined as the ‘social impact’ business model. Rising in popularity across the country, this model allows insurers to move beyond care management and have more control over their margins and the health metrics of the members they serve. Savvy health insurers are offering a variety of programs like housing assistance, transportation, food, and benefit enrollment assistance to harness the cost savings of these unmet needs that contribute to the disproportionate health expenses of the United States compared to peer nations. Many of these programs can be funded by existing tax incentive programs for providing community resources, making them a low cash investment and high reward option for participating insurers. Using these programs as a business strategy is the future of health insurance and a symptom of the increasing amount of responsibility that government agencies are placing on private companies that administer their programs. To stay competitive, health insurers should assess the social needs of their members and implement evidence-based assistance programs to promote whole-person well-being.


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Item Type: Other Thesis, Dissertation, or Long Paper (Master Essay)
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Gehris, Lysia Jacquelineljg50@pitt.eduljg50
ContributionContributors NameEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Thesis advisorRoberts, Ericeric.roberts@pitt.edueric.robertsUNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberWhite, Anna Mariewhitea3@upmc.eduUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberPrushnok, Raymondprushnokrj@upmc.eduUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date: 17 May 2023
Date Type: Completion
Submission Date: 26 April 2023
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 47
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Health Policy & Management
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master Essay
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: SDOH, health, health insurance, social, determinate, food insecurity, hunger, Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, SNAP, business strategy, social impact, public programs, social spending
Date Deposited: 17 May 2023 14:48
Last Modified: 17 May 2023 14:48


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