Social Health Determinants: Core Tenets to Know

There are several non-biological areas that play a major role in overall health, and this broad concept is often referred to by the term “social determinants of health,” or SDOH. What is being referred to here, and how does the realm of SDOH impact employers as they manage and optimize their employee health benefits and related areas?

At Nielsen Benefits Group, we’re happy to offer a huge variety of employee insurance solutions for businesses around Sandy, including helping many companies transform their health benefit culture to make it more equitable and beneficial for all involved. In this two-part blog series, we’ll look at how employers should be thinking about social determinants of health – today’s part one will go over the five core such determinants, while part two will dig into some specific ways for employers to consider them.

social health determinants core

Healthcare Quality and Access

One of the most notable social determinants is the quality and access of healthcare. This includes both physical and mental health services, which can be measured in terms of availability, affordability, acceptability, appropriateness and accessibility.

When employers factor these aspects into their benefits plans it allows for greater equity among their employees since they will have access to a wider array of care options that are tailored to their needs.

Education Quality and Access

Another core social determinant of health is education quality, which refers to the level of available resources and competency of educators that help meet a child’s academic needs in order to succeed later in life. Not only is education quality an important factor in health, but access to education is also a key determinant.

Economic Security & Stability

The third social determinant of health is economic security and stability. This refers to the ability for individuals or families to meet basic needs such as food, shelter, clothing, transportation, and other daily necessities; financial instability can lead to other health issues like depression and anxiety.

Employers can play a role in economic security by offering competitive wages, comprehensive benefits packages, and job stability for their employees. This can lead to better financial security overall and improved mental health among the workforce.

Social and Community

Another key social determinant of health is the social and community aspect. This includes factors like having access to supportive relationships, feeling a sense of belonging, and participating in community events or activities.

Neighborhood and Built Environment

Things like access to transportation, pollution levels, safety of the neighborhood, and access to healthy food can all play a role in overall health. Employers can look into their local community to find ways to contribute or partner with local organizations to help support the physical environment and make it more conducive for healthy living.

In part two of our series, we’ll go over some specific ways employers can think about these social determinants of health as they look to manage and optimize their employee benefits. Stay tuned!

At Nielsen Benefits Group, we understand that managing an employee’s overall health is a complex endeavor and involves more than just providing insurance solutions; it also involves taking into account the many facets of the social determinants of health. We can help employers as they explore and consider these factors to create a more equitable and beneficial benefits culture for their employees. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your business build a healthier workplace culture in Sandy, Utah.