Banner Health: Creating Healthier Futures Through Employment Support

The Issue

ACAP member Banner University Health Plan in Arizona has many members who struggle to find and maintain employment. This instability left many without money to care for their health. At the same time, chronic health challenges made it harder to get and keep a job, creating a cyclical pattern.


Addressing Enrollees’ Employment Needs – Banner University Health Plan

Banner began offering enrollees employment support in 2018 Skills assessments, computer training, resume writing, and other types of support are available to help enrollees find and maintain jobs. This assistance is covered by their insurance. Banner staff identify members who could benefit from additional help through an ongoing assessment process, which asks about employment. Enrollees seek employment assistance for a variety of reasons, including needing additional financial resources to meet basic needs as well as wanting to be more connected to their community.

Once a need is identified, Banner connects people to providers in their network, or community-based organizations that provide vocational services. Certain providers have been identified as Centers of Rehabilitative Excellence (CORE Providers) These community partners must have dedicated employment staff, and submit quarterly data showing consistent job placement rates.

Banner extends its community partnership through the DREAM Job Fair, which brings employers from across southern Arizona to boost career success for individuals living with disabilities. Banner collaborates with multiple community organizations, behavioral health providers, and other managed care organizations to create a twice yearly, stigma-free event for the community.



  • 36% of participants on average connected to employment
  • 64% of placed participants on average remained employed after 90 days
  • 600+ attendees at DREAM Career Fairs
  • 200+ individuals served by CORE Programs


Lessons Learned

  • Engage enrollees in program design. Banner created Member Advisory Councils made up of enrollees to ensure programming is responsive to community needs and truly accessible, increasing service uptake.
  • Create clear criteria for mobilizing community partners. Banner’s established criteria helps prioritize limited resources, ensure return on investment, and demonstrate success to funders.
  • Broad policy support is key. Banner’s employment services, and those of its providers, are supported as a covered Medicaid service under the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, underscoring the importance of supportive state policy environments.


Helping Members Get—And Stay—Employed

Michael, a Banner University Family Care member, was struggling with substance use disorder and needed help getting on his feet. His care team connected him to HOPE, Inc., one of Banner’s in-network providers, which provided relapse prevention, one-on-one peer support and vocational skills training. With Banner’s support, HOPE, Inc. helped Michael secure a job as a custodian and purchased a bike, chain and lock so that he could get to and from work. Michael remains sober and employed, and he credits Banner and its community partners with helping him improve his health and life.