This time last year, protests were erupting across the U.S. calling for racial justice and the COVID-19 pandemic was disproportionately impacting communities of color — events that prompted many health insurance providers to release statements affirming their commitment to addressing racial disparities and place diversity and inclusion officers in the C-suite. Now, industry experts agree that concrete action must follow intentions and discussed some of the puzzle pieces to addressing health inequity during the AHIP 2021 Institute & Expo Online, which was held June 22-24.

“Longstanding institutional and social prejudices have kept people of color from adequate health care, frankly, for generations. Unfortunately, this is a complex issue, which is why it hasn’t been solved yet. No individual or even any single company can solve it alone; it’s going to take public sector and private sector partnerships working together to address social determinants of health,” said Gateway Health President and CEO Cain Hayes during the keynote session, Health Equity in America: An Urgent Call to Action. “Health plans, providers, employers, government agencies and others really have a unique opportunity to help address the impact of race, ethnicity and gender on people’s health outcomes.”

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