HUD Housing Assistance Associated With Lower Uninsurance Rates And Unmet Medical Need
Author: Alan E. Simon, Andrew Fenelon, Veronica Helms, Patricia C. Lloyd, Lauren M. Rossen
To investigate whether receiving US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) housing assistance is associated with improved access to health care, we analyzed data on nondisabled adults ages 18–64 who responded to the 2004–12 National Health Interview Survey that were linked with administrative data from HUD for the period 2002–14. To account for potential selection bias, we compared access to care between respondents who were receiving HUD housing assistance at the time of the survey interview (current recipients) and those who received HUD assistance within twenty-four months of completing the survey interview (future recipients). Receiving assistance was associated with lower uninsurance rates: 31.8 percent of current recipients were uninsured, compared to 37.2 percent of future recipients. Rates of unmet need for health care due to cost were similarly lower for current recipients than for future recipients. No effect of receiving assistance was observed on having a usual source of care. These findings provide evidence that supports the effectiveness of housing assistance in improving health care access.