Categorized | Colorado News, National News, News

UnitedHealth Invests $400M in Affordable Housing

UnitedHealthcare, the health insurance component of UnitedHealth Group, began its affordable housing initiative in 2011. The health insurer has since invested in 80 affordable housing communities nationwide, resulting in more than 4,500 new homes across 18 states.

According to UnitedHealthcare’s Medicaid data, one state involved in the initiative has seen emergency room admissions drop 60 percent. Total cost of care was also 50 percent lower for individuals enrolled in a housing program, according to the insurer.

“Access to safe and affordable housing is one of the greatest obstacles to better health, making it a social determinant that affects people’s well-being and quality of life,” said Steve Nelson, CEO of UnitedHealthcare. “UnitedHealthcare partners with other socially minded organizations that understand the value of good health, and how public-private partnerships like these can succeed in helping make a positive impact in our communities.”

Nearly 15 million Americans currently lack access to stable housing. According to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Commission on Health, the shortage of affordable housing limits people’s choices about where they live, often relegating lower-income families to substandard housing in unsafe, overcrowded neighborhoods with higher rates of poverty and fewer resources for healthy exercise and outdoor activities (e.g., parks, bike paths and recreation centers, etc.). The financial burden of unaffordable housing can prevent families from meeting other basic needs including nutrition and health care, and is particularly significant for low-income families.

Read more in UnitedHealthcare’s press release

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