Redefining access and addressing social determinants of health
Empowering Health is our commitment to find solutions to the complex challenges within the health care system. We're focused on meeting this goal by expanding access to care and addressing the social determinants of health.
We know we can help make a difference by supporting individuals and families who are underserved and uninsured. Empowering Health helps us make a social impact by improving the health and wellness of those who may often be overlooked.
Making healthier happen
- 27.5 million Americans are uninsured.1
- 50% of health care costs are often generated by the most vulnerable populations (or 5% of the population).2
- 33% of people who don’t have insurance use the ER as their usual place of care.3
By targeting these problems, we can make an impact.
Empowering Health helps expand access to care
Focusing on the care in health care by expanding access
Too often, underserved communities have limited resources to provide health care for their population.
- 20.5 million people are living in households with incomes below 2 times the U.S. poverty level.4
- 82% of community health center patients are uninsured or publicly insured.5
- 1 in 5 uninsured adults go without needed medical care due to cost.6
We believe we have a responsibility to make it easier for people to get the care they need. We're taking the following actions to support this effort.
Developing and sustaining community-based health care programs
UnitedHealthcare funds safety-net providers and community-based organizations to deliver behavioral health services and vision screenings and treatments to those who need them at community or school-based settings.
Responding to emergency needs with direct relief
When disasters occur, we respond by connecting with people and communities and helping them get back on their feet.
Providing support through the UnitedHealthcare Children's Foundation
The UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation (UHCCF) offers timely financial support to families, so they can focus on what is most important — improving the quality of life of their child. UHCCF grants help with medical expenses not covered, or not fully covered, by their commercial health insurance. Learn about UHCCF
UnitedHealthcare grant helps Arizona school district address student trauma
Bringing care beyond the clinic to address social determinants of health
Health is more than medical care. Factors outside a doctor’s office play a significant role in influencing a person’s health and well-being.
- 80% of a person's health is affected by what happens outside of a clinical setting.7
- 18.2 million households lack access to stable housing.8
- 40 million people in the U.S. live in food-insecure households.9
We support initiatives that help people get the resources they need for everyday living.
Establishing a housing-first approach to health
A "housing-first" model helps provide a stable home with services to help people struggling with homelessness. This helps improve their ability to access critical medical and social care.
Transforming access to fresh and healthy foods
We think about food as medicine. That's why we’re enabling food banks to provide more healthy, fresh food to more communities. We help by investing in refrigeration, training, mobile food pantries and meal delivery programs across the country.
Addressing social isolation
Social isolation and loneliness may be linked to higher risks for a variety of physical and mental conditions. Our work to address social isolation helps individuals find meaningful connections and feel a sense of purpose.
Advocating for ICD-10 codes to include social determinants
Along with the American Medical Association (AMA), we're working to expand social codes as part of medical records. This helps to better connect patients to the non-medical services and support they need.
Memphis refrigerated trucks: mobile food pantry provides produce to families in need
Volunteering our time
Through volunteer programs, including our longstanding "Do Good. Live Well" initiative, our employees play an important role in improving access to care and building healthier communities.
Using our voice
We work with partners to help redefine how the health system thinks about health. We sponsor and participate in national events so we learn about the needs of specific communities and states.
Learn more about Empowering Health
- U.S. Census Bureau. (2019). Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2018, accessed June 2020.
- Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. (2019). Concentration of Health Expenditures and Selected Characteristics of High Spenders, U.S. Civilian Noninstitutionalized Population, accessed June 2020.
- Thomas, S., Balan-Cohen, A., & Shukla, M. (2018). Gaining Medicaid insurance coverage may help bring down emergency room use for nonemergency reasons, accessed June 2020.
- HRSA Data Warehouse Fact Sheet Maps, accessed June 2020.
- National Association of Community Health Centers . America's Health Centers, March 2020..
- Tolbert, J., Orgera, K., Singer, N., & Damico, A. (2019). Key Facts about the Uninsured Population, accessed June 2020.
- Countyhealthrankings.org. (2019). County Health Rankings Model: Health Factors | County Health Rankings & Roadmaps: A Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Program , accessed June 2020.
- Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University (2019). ).The State of the Nation’s Housing 2019, accessed June 2020.
- United States Department of Agriculture (2018). Household Food Security in the United States in 2017, accessed June 2020.