In public health, we work to make the healthy choice an easy choice and help people embrace a healthy lifestyle.
Yet, oftentimes, the cost of health care is a determining factor in the choices people make about their health. It can prevent someone from seeking medical care or even force a choice between purchasing food or filling important prescriptions.
Basic needs must be addressed first for someone to reach their healthiest state. For example, someone who doesn’t know where their next meal is coming from or who is struggling to feed their family is less likely to prioritize controlling their blood sugar or taking time off to get an eye or foot exam.
I learned early on in my career that health insurance can significantly change lives, especially if someone has the wherewithal to leverage the different choices available to them to obtain more affordable, accessible and higher-quality care.
What I learned from leading public health
As the former director of the Arizona Department of Health Services, I saw how health insurance providers helped public health bridge the gap between the immediate health care needs of the community to directly help people thrive.
I worked with health care insurance providers on a variety of programs, from Arizona Department of Health Services’ Opioid Emergency Response and Arizona Health Improvement Plan to the colossal task of coordinating a mass vaccination site at State Farm Stadium. With each opportunity, I saw an incredible willingness to step up and make a difference in the lives of Arizonans.
Rising costs: You’ll need about $150K for out-of-pocket health costs
Collaborating with members of the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona team on these projects gave me insights into