UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Washington is working to help members get a better understanding of their plan.
Improving health literacy is important for individuals who may be unfamiliar with how to navigate the health care system. About 36% of adults in the United States have low health literacy.1 The number is expected to be higher among individuals eligible for Medicaid and those who may have been uninsured for extended periods of time.
Understanding benefits can lead to improved health and higher satisfaction
Navigating Medicaid and other health care systems is important for members. This ensures they can access the right treatments for themselves, understand their health needs, and fully comprehend what resources are available to them. In addition, members of Medicaid who don’t understand their plan or its benefits can become disengaged.
UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Washington is breaking down information silos and helping members understand Medicaid. They have done this by creating a group that helps health plan employees understand all the features that are available to members of Apple Health. This learning group is called Medicaid Academy. By supporting health plan employees and ensuring that they have a comprehensive understanding of what is available to health plan members, they are better equipped to help individuals achieve their best health.
Some of the topics have included:
- Jail transition
- Health equity
- Supporting Indigenous members
- Quit For Life-smoking cessation
Education and connection have proven to support literacy efforts. Connecting members to knowledgeable staff and supporting them with information demonstrates a commitment to serving the whole person. This leads to improved engagement and healthier plan members.
Supporting members beyond health needs
As a managed care organization (MCO), UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Washington delivers health benefits to members of Apple Health. They’ve also created a Community Connections group that focuses on locally available resources.
Some of this additional support addresses SDOH such as housing, food or other supports for families. By working with community organizations to understand what they do and how they can support individuals served by Medicaid, Community Connections gives the health plan employees better insight into the ways they can connect members to these organizations. Some of the partners that have presented at Community Connections offer support in these areas:
- Behavioral health services
- Domestic violence services
- Food insecurity support
- Youth and family support
Building communication and understanding is important as health plan employees rely on these groups to offer support to members. Two-way information sharing helps health plan employees understand all that is available to members. When organizations engage with health plan employees, United Healthcare Community Plan of Washington is able to support members with a greater focus on whole person health.