Low-Income Patients Forced to Choose Between Rent and Health Care Posing Risk for Eviction
A new national report from Enterprise’s Health Begins with Home program shows that more than half of renters have delayed medical care because they could not afford it. The report results come from a first-of-its-kind national survey from Enterprise Community Partners.
- Every one of the 500 medical professionals surveyed reported that at least some of their patients have expressed concerns about affordable housing, with 31 percent of those professionals reporting that at least one quarter of their patients have expressed concerns about having an affordable place to live. This number increases to 42 percent among medical professionals with a larger low-income patient population.
- Among those who delayed care because of affordability, the most frequently delayed types of treatment included preventive routine check-ups (42 percent), seeking treatment while sick (38 percent) and buying over-the-counter medications (35 percent).
- 44 percent of medical professionals believe a lack of accessible health care hinders the health of lower income communities, and less than half (48 percent) of lower income respondents are satisfied with health care accessibility where they live.
“No one should have to choose between paying rent and paying for health care,” said Laurel Blatchford, president, Enterprise Community Partners. “And yet, thousands of people make that difficult trade off every day. That’s wrong. By working closely with health care organizations, we’re creating ways for renters to afford the health care they need.”
- 83 percent said they prioritize paying rent before anything else, compared with 1 percent prioritizing health care costs.
- Nearly half (45 percent) have not followed a treatment plan provided by a health care professional because they couldn’t afford it, compared with 34 percent of all renter respondents.