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:
- 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
We want members to be the healthiest they can be. According to the Centers for Disease Control, some important examples of health disparities are:
- Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Non-Hispanic black adults are at least 50% more likely to die of heart disease or stroke prematurely (i.e., before age 75 years) than their non-Hispanic white counterparts.
- The rate of premature death (death among persons aged <75 years) from stroke was higher among non-Hispanic blacks than their white counterparts
- The prevalence of adult diabetes is higher among Hispanics, non-Hispanic blacks, and those of other or mixed races than among Asians and non-Hispanic whites.
- The infant mortality rate for non-Hispanic blacks is more than double the rate for non-Hispanic whites.
- In 2010, Hispanic and African American adults aged 18-64 years had larger percentages without health insurance compared with white and Asian/Pacific Islander counterparts.
- African Americans had the largest incidence and death rates from colorectal cancer in 2008 of all racial and ethnic populations despite similar colorectal screening rates to white adults
These are just a few of the health disparities found in the world's diverse population. Learn more alarming
health disparity statistics.
Diversity in changing communities.
UnitedHealth Group believes strongly in personalized, evidence-based care that meets the needs of individuals. We recognize that the United States demographic make-up is ever-changing and becoming more diverse, with multicultural populations becoming the predominant driver of population growth.
To serve an increasingly diverse population we are providing culturally and linguistically appropriate programs and services that will result in the best member health outcomes possible. Culturally specific programs also help tackle the gaps in the quality of health and health care across racial, ethnic and socioeconomic groups.
Asian American Markets
Our Asian American Markets team delivers health care solutions that meet each member’s stage-in-life needs, supported by culturally and linguistically appropriate programs, tools and services to help members better understand their health plans, identify health risks and obtain better health outcomes.
Visit the UnitedHealthcare Asian American website
Latino Health Solutions
Latino Health Solutions provides bilingual, culturally relevant health and wellness information and services to help meet the health care needs of Hispanic/Latino families, their employers, and the brokers and consultants who work with them. Latino Health Solutions offers a variety of educational resources that focus on the common health concerns of the Hispanic community, and we provide bilingual information to help maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Visit the UnitedHealthcare Latino Health Solutions website
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.