From ThinkAnthem.com

Improving the health of our nation starts with broadening our view of what health means.
That’s why we’re starting a national conversation around whole health and the factors that drive it.

ADVANCING EQUITY TO IMPROVE WHOLE HEALTH

Health equity means everyone has a fair and just opportunity to be as healthy as possible. Raising awareness about how equity impacts all areas of our well-being is an essential step to improving the health of our nation.

Girl helping father in wheelchair.

Health equity can be defined in two ways: as a process of reducing health disparities—or differences in health outcomes between groups—and as an outcome where such disparities are eliminated.

In our current system, disparities in the ways individuals and communities are impacted by social drivers have created gaps in health outcomes along social, economic, and cultural lines. In other words, the different ways we experience social drivers of health largely determine whether we will face disparities in care and outcomes.

By raising awareness about equity’s impact on all areas of health, including the social drivers, we can better ensure all people, regardless of race or ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, or geographic or financial access can receive care that allows them to achieve their best health.

Truly improving health will require more than expanding its definition to include social drivers like access to nutritious food, safe housing, and reliable transportation. We must center equity in all efforts to improve health. Learn more from Anthem’s Chief Health Equity Officer Dr. Darrell Gray about Anthem’s vision for a more equitable future and what everyone can do to help make that vision a reality.

Many health disparities, which so often negatively impact marginalized groups, are deeply rooted in long-standing inequities in both the opportunities and resources needed to be healthy.1 Learn more about the role race and ethnicity play in determining health outcomes.

HEALTH EQUITY QUICK STATS

Across the country, gaps in health are large, persistent, and increasing. Not only do these disparities lead to higher costs and higher rates of illness and mortality for those facing health inequities—they also impact the entire healthcare system.

  • Racial disparities cost the U.S. approximately $135 billion in excess medical costs and economic losses each year2

  • LGBTQ+ individuals are at a higher risk for cancer, mental illnesses, and other diseases3

  • 1 in 3 people ages 18 to 44 with disabilities did not have a usual healthcare provider and had a healthcare need that went unmet in the last year due to cost4

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  • RACIAL AND ETHNIC MINORITY GROUPS EXPERIENCE HIGHER RATES OF ILLNESS AND DEATH WHEN COMPARED TO THEIR WHITE COUNTERPARTS5

2. Altarum, The Business Case For Racial Equity: A Strategy For Growth.
3. Healthy People, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Health.
4. CDC: Disability Impacts All of Us.
5. CDC: Racism and Health - Racism is a Serious Threat to the Public’s Health.