New Study Finds Indiana’s Overall Health Negatively Affected by Lack of Affordable Housing, Other Social Issues

Driving Our Health study from Anthem Inc. explores Americans’ perceptions about what influences health

INDIANAPOLIS--()--Eight in ten people believe inadequate housing, access to mental healthcare and financial insecurity are the three factors that most negatively impact the health of Hoosiers according to Driving Our Health: A study exploring health perceptions in America conducted by Anthem, Inc., the parent company of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Indiana.

These factors are known as social drivers of health (SDoH) – issues like nutritious food, safe housing, and reliable transportation – and they play a key role in determining the health of the whole person. While the same survey finds that many are not familiar with the concept of SDoH, 80 percent believe the pandemic has caused them to be more aware of both their physical as well as mental health. This provides an opportunity to expand our understanding of whole health, and ultimately improve the health and vitality of people across the nation.

“The challenges of the pandemic exacerbated longstanding health problems, but also caused many in Indiana and across the country to reexamine the notion of what it means to be healthy,” said Beth Keyser, president of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Indiana. “At Anthem, we think this is the time to take a broader view of health and that should include looking at the various social factors that are having a negative impact on people’s health. We are committed to identifying these factors and partnering with organizations to address the problems and ultimately improve community health.”

Anthem is calling on individuals to learn more about whole health and its drivers – starting with exploring the Driving Our Health study and sharing what they learn with others. Anthem has been focused on the social drivers of health for over 75 years in an effort to improve the lives and communities we serve and be a trusted partner. Along with the Anthem Foundation and through other enterprise initiatives, Anthem has and continues to create and support programs that focus on health equity, creating connections, improving outcomes, and removing barriers to care.

Other highlights from the study include:

  • The pandemic increased consumers’ consciousness of physical and mental health. Eight in 10 Gen Z’ers agree the pandemic has made them more conscious of their whole health, with about half reporting strong agreement (49% vs. 41% Baby Boomers).
  • SDoH consequences are prevalent and disproportionately affect certain groups, including people of color. Among people of color, two-thirds believe their local community is facing health issues related to social drivers. This is significantly higher than the percentage of White Americans who report these issues in their local community.
  • Respondents believe that action is needed to address these disparities, but no one entity is responsible for solving these issues alone. Americans believe healthcare, government, community, non-profit, and other entities have a responsibility to address SDoH and health disparities collectively.

That’s why Anthem is utilizing these findings to elevate the conversation around whole health and its drivers. Making a difference at the community level is critical, because health is increasingly determined by the zip code we live in, rather than the doctors we see. That means communities play a vital role in sustaining health.

More information about the study findings and what shapes whole health is available on the What’s Driving Our Health microsite and Driving Our Health Instagram.

Survey and Claims Methodology

The Driving Our Health study was conducted among a nationally representative sample of 5,000 U.S. adults above the age of 18. Participant data was collected via a 25-minute, online survey. The margin of error for the national sample is +/-1.4 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. The sample is nationally representative according to the U.S. Census on overall age, gender, region, urban/rural, and ethnicity/race.

An additional 500+ adults within each of the Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Cross Blue Shield states (California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Virginia, Wisconsin) were also surveyed.

The study also incorporates data from third-party sources, such as the CDC and EPA, to compare consumer perceptions uncovered by the survey to a measured reality.

About Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is the trade name of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc., an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. Additional information about Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Indiana is available at www.anthem.com. Also, follow us on Twitter @AnthemBCBS_News and @AnthemBCBS or find us on Facebook.

About Anthem, Inc.

Anthem is a leading health benefits company dedicated to improving lives and communities, and making healthcare simpler. Through its affiliated companies, Anthem serves more than 117 million people, including more than 45 million within its family of health plans. We aim to be the most innovative, valuable and inclusive partner. For more information, please visit www.antheminc.com or follow @AnthemInc on Twitter.

Contacts

Tony Felts, 317-439-6751
tony.felts@anthem.com

Contacts

Tony Felts, 317-439-6751
tony.felts@anthem.com