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ARTICLE Health Equity

Four children of different ethnicities

Health equity means attaining the highest level of health for all people. It means removing inequalities in health care that result from differences such as gender, race, income, or disability. These inequalities are also known as health disparities. UnitedHealth Group has long been dedicated to reducing health disparities.

 

Health Equity Services

In 2010, the Health Equity Services (HES) Program was established to help address health disparities. The HES Program helps reduce health disparities by improving our culturally sensitive initiatives that promote health and prevent avoidable health care cost. To accomplish this, the HES program operates with four key focus areas:

Health Equity Services Program
  • Collecting data to better understand our membership and their cultural characteristics  
  • Identifying gaps in health and health care to develop interventions
  • Refining the patient-centered approach based on member demographics, including race, ethnicity and language
  • Growing multicultural capabilities to enhance the member experience

Alarming Statistics
We want members to be the healthiest they can be. Research shows that race and ethnicity may affect the risk for certain diseases. For example:

  • Hispanics are twice as likely to have diabetes compared to non-Hispanic Caucasians
  • African-Americans are 40 percent more likely to die from heart disease
  • Asian women have the lowest levels of cervical and breast cancer screenings.

These are just a few of the health disparities found in the world's diverse population. Learn more alarming health disparity statistics.

 

Multicultural Centers of Excellence
Since 2002, UnitedHealthcare's Multicultural Centers of Excellence have offered award-winning culturally tailored programs, tools and services. These innovative offerings are built directly into many of our products at no additional costs to members.

  • Latino Health Solutions offers a variety of plans and services to better meet the needs of Hispanic and Latino members. Bilingual customer care is available to all members. The Latino Health Solutions website offers a wealth of other bilingual resources such as podcasts, health and wellness material, medical glossary and many other resources. A mobile version of the website is available at m.uhclatino.com. Many large clients with a high Hispanic employee population offer bilingual health education kiosks at their worksites or at public locations for community access. These kiosks provide health information to members who may not have access to the internet at their job or at home. Latino Health Solutions also makes customer care in Spanish widely available to members.
  • Generations of Wellness® provides an array of culturally-relevant resources to ensure African Americans receive the best health care possible through innovative and unique health tools. The Generations of Wellness website offers offers a library of downloadable health and fitness flyers, doctor checklists, healthy recipes, updates on community events, and online tools such as the Family Health History Tree, which helps individuals track multi-generational health trends in their family to share with their doctor and other family members.
  • Asian American Markets provide tools, information and screening reminders relevant to Asian American members in four different Asian languages and English. In some areas with a high Asian American population, there are retail sites available where members may receive support or attend community events in their preferred Asian language. Browse the site for more information:

Health Literacy

Health literacy is how well a person can read, understand and use basic health information and services in order to make appropriate health decisions. People with low health literacy have trouble figuring out the health care system. They also have a hard time following their treatment plan. Our company is addressing low health literacy nationwide. We are helping people to more easily access, understand and act upon important health information.

 

Through our Health Literacy Innovations Program (HLIP), we strive to create clear, simple and understandable consumer health resources. HLIP is also aligning with new health literacy standards outlined in the Affordable Care Act. We've also created a glossary called
"Just Plain Clear" to help people understand difficult health insurance terms. This glossary is available in both English and Spanish.

 

Members Sharing Race, Ethnicity and Language (REL) information
Offering members the opportunity to share their Race, Ethnicity and Language (REL) information with us will help us understand their unique health risks and health care needs. Knowing our members better means we can provide them with more personalized health care services. Learn more about our REL Collection & Use efforts.

 

Diversity & Inclusion
Every day, we engage with communities, individuals, families and employers to promote healthy living, prevent disease and improve the quality and effectiveness of care. Learn more about our Diversity & Inclusion programs that demonstrate our commitment to diverse communities.

 

We recognize the individual needs of all our customers and we're committed to offering products and services that help meet those needs. For gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) customers, we offer a link to the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association provider search.