White Paper

Addressing Social Determinants of Health for Beneficiaries in Medicare Advantage

Social determinants of health are the conditions in which people live, work, and age that impact their health.1 They include factors such as socioeconomic status, access to health services, and the social and physical environment.2 Increasingly, health care payers, such as Medicare and Medicaid, are interested in more holistic care for beneficiaries by directly addressing their social determinants of health with the goal of improving health outcomes while reducing unnecessary health care utilization. This White Paper explores social determinants of health, discusses the challenges of addressing social determinants in Medicare, and provides examples of how Medicare Advantage health plans are working to directly address social determinants of health. This White Paper also recommends actions policymakers can take to improve the ability of Medicare Advantage health plans to more directly address social determinants of health to improve patients’ health outcomes.