Health Disparities Within ESI Revealed by New Analysis from NORC and Morgan Health
July 29, 2022
New Morgan Health-NORC analysis reveals important insights about the largest source of health insurance coverage in the U.S. — employer-sponsored insurance. The study is a snapshot of health outcomes and disparities among adults with ESI, examining engagement in preventive health, health outcomes associated with chronic conditions, maternal health, substance use and behavioral health conditions, access to care, and food insecurity.
The analysis finds large health disparities across chronic conditions, maternal health, substance abuse, and behavioral health among enrollees with employer-sponsored coverage. Moreover, some of the most significant differences appear to be statistically associated with race.
Some of the key findings include:
- The burden of chronic disease varied significantly across races and ethnicities, and the data also revealed underdiagnosis of key conditions for certain patient populations.
- Widespread variation in Cesarean section (C-section) delivery rates among racial and ethnic minority groups reinforce persistent maternal health gaps within the ESI market.
- Despite perceptions around the robustness of coverage within ESI, enrollees experience significant barriers to accessing care, particularly for enrollees of racial/ethnic minority backgrounds and those with low or modest incomes.
The bottom line? Employers and other health care purchasers have a real opportunity to address racial health equity and disparities in a meaningful way – by tailoring their coverage options to meet the needs of diverse employee populations.