Microblog #76: Prescriptions for evictions

Can healthcare reduce late rent payments?

Yes it can, according to a recent study by the University of Colorado, Washington University, and the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. The research found that lower income households with access to subsidized healthcare through the ACA’s insurance exchanges were 25% less likely to have late rent payments or missed mortgage payments.

Traditional wisdom says housing payments are the highest priority for low income households, and that they will defer necessary healthcare expenditures to make house payments. The study reveals that often, poor households cannot defer those health related expenses—a finding reflected in many of the stories in Matthew Desmond’s book Evicted. The result can be the loss of housing because of a health-related incident.

This is particularly relevant to Virginia, where Medicaid expansion will bring coverage to as many as 350,000 lower income Virginians. Increased housing stability for lower income families may be an added benefit to Virginia’s decision to expand coverage.

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