Benjamin Sommers

Professor of Health Policy and Economics

Department of Health Policy and Management

Kresge Building, Room 406
677 Huntington Avenue
Boston, Massachusetts 02115
Phone: 617.432.3271
bsommers@hsph.harvard.edu

Research

Dr. Sommers is a health economist and a physician whose main research interests are health policy for vulnerable populations, the uninsured, and the health care safety net. He has received numerous awards for his research, including the Outstanding Dissertation Award, Alice Hersh New Investigator Award, the 2015 Article-of-the-Year Award, and the 2017 Health Services Research Impact Award from AcademyHealth, a preeminent national association of health policy researchers; and the Outstanding Junior Investigator Award from the Society of General Internal Medicine.  He was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2019.  His research has been published in leading journals including the New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA Journal of Health Economics, and Health Affairs.  His research has been profiled in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and National Public Radio.  He is frequently interviewed in the media regarding the health care safety net, health disparities, and how public programs like Medicaid affect public health and the economy, including in the context of the 2019-2020 coronavirus epidemic.

Dr. Sommers is a practicing primary care internist, and he is also Professor of Medicine at Brigham & Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School.  From 2011-2012, he served as a Senior Advisor in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and he served part-time in an advisory role from 2013-2015.  His current research projects focus on barriers to health care access among low-income adults, insurance markets, and the health and economic effects of state Medicaid policies.  He received a PhD in Health Policy from Harvard and an MD from Harvard Medical School.