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Sarah Rayel

Pronouns: She/Her

Senior Director
Sarah has over 15 years of experience in health care policy, strategy, and analysis

Sarah works to leverage the depth and breadth of NORC’s diverse social sciences expertise and research assets to help health care clients meet their business objectives.

Her work at NORC supports payers, trade associations, life sciences companies, foundations, and others tackling difficult policy and strategic problems. Sarah leverages her deep policy expertise to advise clients on issues related to Medicare payment policy, prescription drugs, aging, and seniors housing. Recent projects of interest include the development of an interactive mapping tool to demonstrate the relationship between obesity and related diseases, and state-by-state estimates of coverage transitions following Medicaid redeterminations. She has also served as an expert advisor to a national payer association, including developing and executing a survey of its membership to highlight affordability.

Prior to joining NORC, Sarah was a Managing Director of Medicare Policy with the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA), where she led policy development on Medicare Advantage and Part D. Sarah also led BCBSA's policy work on Medicare Part D redesign, including directing outside actuarial analysis and presenting options and analysis to plan decision makers and key Congressional committee staff. Prior to BCBSA, Sarah worked at Avalere Health, where she provided strategic support for clients navigating Medicare payment changes. Her career in health policy began as a Medicare Program Examiner in the Office of Management and Budget where she led review of complex Medicare payment regulations, briefed senior officials on major issues, and developed proposals for the President’s Budget.

Project Contributions

Inflation Reduction Act’s Impact on Prescription Drug Spending

An estimate of savings for Medicare beneficiaries taking cancer drugs


Patients for Affordable Drugs

Obesity Prevalence & Comorbidity Map

An interactive mapping tool offering insights into prevalence of obesity and related chronic diseases


Novo Nordisk

Adult Obesity in Rural America

An analysis of obesity prevalence, sociodemographic factors, and access to care in rural and urban counties


Novo Nordisk

Measuring the Sentiments of People with Employer-Provided Health Coverage

Analyzing the impact of employer-provided coverage (EPC), especially in rural areas



Medicaid Redeterminations

Examining the impact of unwinding the Medicaid continuous enrollment requirement on individuals, the health care system, and society


Multiple clients, including AARP Public Policy Institute and AHIP