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Study: Medicaid Expansion Helps Improve Finances Of Michigan’s Low-Income Residents

Max Pixel

Healthy Michigan means better credit for Michigan’s low-income residents.  That’s according to a new study on the state’sMedicaid expansion released Monday.  It found that people on the plan improved their financial health since getting the insurance coverage.

Sarah Miller is a professor at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business – she worked on the study.  Miller says they found that because people were in less financial stress health wise, they didn’t overdraw their credit cards and they paid bills on time.  Which means their credit scores got better.  And Miller said that can have a long-reaching impact.

“Having a higher credit score, being less likely to be in this very subprime region of the credit score distribution can open up a lot of opportunities to borrow and maybe take out an auto loan and be able to get a car and be able to go to work,” Miller said.

Researchers tracked changes in people’s financial health using data from the state.  But the researchers did not have access to individual’s identities.

“We actually found, I thought, really striking evidence that around the time people enrolled in the program, you saw a lot of these measures of financial distress really fall substantially,” said Miller.

You can read the entire study, published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, here.

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—Cheyna Roth is a reporter for the Michigan Public Radio network.  Contact WEMU News at734.487.3363 or email us at studio@wemu.org

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