An employee’s financial stability extends beyond their paycheck

Supporting employees’ needs requires looking at all the factors that may be impacting their health, including their financial well-being.

Social determinants of health (SDOH), including economic stability, can have a significant impact on an employee’s health, well-being and quality of life.1 In fact, up to 25% of employees with group health insurance experienced high levels of financial insecurity.2  

In addition to economic stability, SDOH factors include where someone lives, access to quality health care, exposure to discrimination and educational opportunities. In today’s economic environment, employers may be dealing with a workforce that’s experiencing more stress than usual due to financial uncertainty. This uncertainty can trigger a domino effect of increased stress, anxiety and subsequently, poor work performance.3

For some, economic challenges may be temporary, but for others, financial instability may be a constant reality. This is especially true for employees living in areas with high levels of economic instability, which include Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, Washington, D.C. and Wyoming.4

"Employer groups are starting to see how social determinants of health (SDOH) can impact the health of their employees. They’re now looking for solutions to better help their employees who may be facing issues with SDOH."

— Charmaine M. Heard, Vice President of Health Care Strategies, UnitedHealthcare Employer & Individual

Employers can address SDOH with the help of their health plan. For instance, when UnitedHealthcare works with employers to promote health equity, the first step is to conduct an inventory of their health plan and benefits, such as whether their plan offers lower premiums or upfront pricing information, an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) or financial support programs.

To specifically address economic instability, Dr. Cyrus Batheja, national vice president of enterprise transformation and strategic solutions for UnitedHealthcare, explains the solutions employers are implementing to assist employees: “We’re seeing many employers adding lifestyles supports. They’re helping employees with options such as a deduction off their gas or heating bills, monthly food debit cards or onsite food pantries, and wellness initiatives like ‘call a friend’ to help address social isolation.”

When employers help guide employees toward economic stability, they’re not only helping their overall community, but they’re also helping to build a stronger and more productive workforce.

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