Can Medicaid Expansion Prevent Housing Evictions?

Publication Date:
Sep 2019

Evictions are increasingly recognized as a serious concern facing low-income households. This study evaluated whether expansions of Medicaid can prevent evictions from occurring. The authors examined data from a privately licensed database of eviction records in fourteen states (286 counties) and used a difference-in-differences research design to compare rates of eviction before and after California's early Medicaid expansion (51 counties). Early Medicaid expansion in California was associated with a reduction in the number of evictions, with 24.5 fewer evictions per month in each county from a pre-expansion average of 224.7. These results imply that for every thousand new Medicaid enrollees in California, Medicaid expansion was associated with roughly twenty-two fewer evictions per year. Additionally, the authors found a 2.9-percentage-point reduction in evictions per capita associated with early expansion. The effects were concentrated among counties with the highest pre-expansion rates of uninsurance. We conclude that health insurance coverage is associated with improved housing stability.


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