Findings: HRSNs (e.g., health access, social support, financial strain) were shown to be prevalent among commercially insured adults, putting them at significantly higher risk for worse health, even after controlling for income and demographic characteristics.
In the study, 76% of people with commercial health plans reported having at least one HRSN, and nearly 30% reported having more than three. One in three commercially insured members report experiencing financial strain, and one in five report food insecurity.
Researchers also found that commercially insured people who report HRSNs have more self-reported physically and mentally unhealthy days, a higher prevalence of anxiety/depression and hypertension, more emergency room visits, and higher healthcare costs. These findings are consistent with results from other surveys of HRSNs among non-commercially insured U.S. adults.
What’s Next: Collaboration between providers and health plans to collect HRSN data would increase the frequency and likelihood of all individuals — including commercially insured members — being assessed for HRSNs and that data being used when coordinating a care plan. Furthermore, creating a common set of standards for and definitions of HRSNs would allow data collected at different patient interaction points to be shared and integrated into the delivery of healthcare. Elevance Health and its family of brands have teamed up with employers, providers, and community-based organizations (CBOs) to proactively assess and address HRSNs through various programs and products.