HDI’s Policy Program Core works with health equity stakeholders on state and federal levels to raise awareness, build coalitions of support, and collectively influence policy change to eliminate health disparities.

HDI's Policy Core translates Research Core findings into policy action; distills national and state policy changes with implications on health equity into policy briefings for community-based Capacity Building, and convenes, facilitates, and participates in collective policy action to eliminate health disparities in the state of Connecticut. HDI's university-community policy advisory committee will establish health equity centric principles for policy action that enable HDI's fulfillment of its statutory authority and achievement of its mission while ensuring consistent, logically integrated efforts.

Health Insurance Advance

UConn’s Health Disparities Institute launched a 5 year Health Insurance Advance (HIA) initiative with the goal of “enhancing the value of health insurance for the newly insured and in doing so improve their overall health and well being”.

The project is being implemented in 2 stages:

  • -Years 1-3 will measurably advance the level of health insurance literacy in high-risk populations and develop consumer support tools and HI coaching at the point of use.
  • -Years 4-5 will promote policy changes aimed at simplifying health insurance designs.

    See more about the HIA Initiative

Policy Briefs

Health Insurance Policy 

Associate Director, Dr. Victor Villagra issues policy briefs related to the Health Insurance Advance Initiative:

When Hospitals and Doctors Sue Their Patients: The Medical Debt Crisis Through a New Lens - This issue brief provides an  overview of the complex problem of medical debt in America through the viewpoints of hospitals’ and providers’ who have law suits against their patients.

Enhancing the Value of Health Insurance by Making it Simpler - Because health insurance (HI) is a fundamental instrument of wellbeing in our society, individuals must be able not only to obtain HI, but also to use it effectively. This policy brief examines health insurance complexity as a structural barrier to plan selection and ease of use.

Health Insurance Complexity Leads to Consumer Wasteful Spending - This report describes how health insurance complexity often leads consumers to select “the wrong” plan when lower cost alternatives with identical benefits are available. Based on evidence to date, we make recommendations that would make insurance plans simpler, easier for consumers to use, more affordable and ultimately more effective to promote good health and well-being for Connecticut’s most vulnerable residents.



Connecting Clinical Care with Community Organizations

The Connecticut Health Foundation and the Health Disparities Institute at UConn Health have published two policy briefs on best practices in connecting clinical care with community organizations:

Key Elements for Advancing Clinical-Community Integration, written by Health Disparities Institute Director Wizdom Powell, PhD, MPH, provides an overview of the work and recommendations for designing effective models.

Clinical-Community Integration: The Role of Health Information Technology, written by Health Disparities Institute Associate Director Victor G. Villagra, MD, focuses on the importance of systems that allow clinical and community providers to communicate and share information about their shared clients.