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What Is Healthy People 2020?

Agnus Smith Published: June 14, 2018 Updated: February 12, 2018

Friends riding bikes

Healthy People 2020 is the latest version of the Healthy People program that was originally established in 1979 by the United States Department of Health and Human Services. Its stated goal was to establish a 10-year plan to reduce controllable health risks like those caused by poor diet. Subsequent versions of the program include Healthy People 2000 and Healthy People 2010.

What Is Healthy People 2020?

Healthy People 2020 is a 10-year long program for improving the health of all Americans that was adopted in December 2010. It is also to some extent a continuation of Healthy People 2010, and it lists over 1200 objectives that fall into 42 categories.

Healthy People 2020 collects data from hundreds of sources to determine if they are meeting their goals and if they need to make improvements. For example, Healthy People 2020 aims to have 100% of the population covered by health insurance. By 2015, over 89% of American had some kind of coverage; that means around 11% still to get insurance to fulfill the stated goal.

Even the least expensive health insurance plan is required to provide the following ten essential benefits:

• Emergency care

• Prescription medications

• Pregnancy care

• Pediatric services

• Lab tests

• Inpatient care

• Outpatient care

• Substance abuse treatments

• Rehabilitation services

• Preventative services

On the other hand, many health plans do not cover cosmetic surgery, acupuncture, nursing homes or weight loss surgery. Some, however, will cover them, but it can take some hunting to find an insurance company that does.

What Are The Determinants Of Healthy People 2020?

Determinants are environmental, social, economic and personal factors that affect the overall health of individuals and populations. For example, a person who lives in a safe neighborhood is more likely to enjoy good health than one who does not, for they will be under less stress and less susceptible to injury or death by violence. Household income is another determinant, as poor people usually have worse health than wealthier people.

What Are The Health Objectives And Goals?

Healthy People 2020 has a vision of a society in which everybody enjoys long and healthy lives. Its goals include the following:

•Eliminate health disparities, so everybody has an equal chance to enjoy good health.

• Eliminate preventable diseases and injuries.

• Create healthy physical and social environments.

• Encourage healthy habits in people of all ages.

What Is A Leading Health Indicator?

A Leading Health Indicator (LHI) is an objective that has been given the highest priority. They include the most important health issues and the actions that can be taken to improve them. There are 26 LHIs, and they fall into the following 12 categories:

• Access to Health Services

• Clinical Preventive Services

• Environmental Quality

• Injury and Violence

• Maternal, Infant, and Child Health

• Mental Health

• Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity

• Oral Health

• Reproductive and Sexual Health

• Social Determinants

• Substance Abuse

• Tobacco Use

Access to Health Services, for example, covers both access to health insurance and to a “usual” primary care provider. Ideally, people should have a physician that they see regularly over a period of years. Not only will they trust that doctor over a stranger, but the doctor will understand their needs. The primary care physician periodically examines the patient and thus keeps track of their health. They can also refer the patient to a specialist if needed.

Healthy People 2020 has set targets for every single Leading Health Indicator. For example, one of its stated goals for the Leading Health Indicator “Access to Health Care” is to have 100% of the population covered by some type of health insurance by 2020. As the percentage of people covered has increased from 83.2% in 2008 to over 89% by 2015, this objective is “improving.” Different objectives can also be described as showing “little or no detectable change”, “target met or exceeded,” or “getting worse.” Mental Health and Oral Health are the only LHIs that “are getting worse”, for depressive episodes and suicides have increased in adolescents, and fewer people are going to the dentist.

What Is Health Disparity?

A health disparity is defined as a health difference linked to a social, environmental or economic disadvantage. They affect people who have:

“Systematically experienced greater obstacles to health based on their racial or ethnic group, religion, socioeconomic status, etc.”

In other words, people who belong to despised or marginalized minority groups often have trouble getting the health care they need and suffer poorer health as a result. Healthy People 2020 seeks to eliminate such barriers, so everybody has access to the same level of care. Good health should be something everybody can have, regardless of their race, ethnic group, or social class.

Healthy People 2020 maintains a website that explains its goal and provides information including data pertaining to the Leading Health Indicators. It also includes information about how the different states plan to meet Healthy People 2020 goals.

As part of the effort to insure 100% of the American population, First Quote Health provides you with the easiest way to shop and compare health insurance plans available in your area. You can get started with your health coverage search today, regardless if Open Enrollment has ended or not, so why wait? Find the most affordable health insurance options in your area with no obligations today.