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Health insurers take on the affordability crisis — in housing

Health insurers are investing hundreds of millions of dollars into building new affordable housing units. This investment is driven by the recognition that housing instability is linked to poorer health outcomes and higher healthcare costs. Insurers believe that by creating stable housing, they can foster healthier communities and reduce healthcare expenses for their enrollees. This movement aligns with federal efforts encouraging Medicaid to support low-income housing. Click here for article.

  • Major Investments: Insurers like Centene and UnitedHealth Group have announced significant investments in affordable housing, with Centene committing $900 million and UnitedHealth surpassing $1 billion in their respective projects.

  • Health Impact: Stable housing is linked to reduced stress, fewer emergency room visits, and lower overall healthcare costs. More than 15% of U.S. adults have delayed or skipped medical treatments due to housing costs.

  • Federal Support: The federal government is encouraging Medicaid to experiment with funding for housing, with 19 states already approved to use Medicaid dollars for temporary housing support.

  • Industry Skepticism: While there is optimism about the potential health benefits of these investments, some experts caution that it might divert necessary funds from direct healthcare services.

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