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Health Care Expenditures, Financial Stability, and Participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

Yunhee Chang, Jinhee Kim and Swarnankur Chatterjee ()

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Abstract: This paper examines the association between household healthcare expenses and participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) when moderated by factors associated with financial stability of households. Using a large longitudinal panel encompassing eight years, this study finds that an inter-temporal increase in out-of-pocket medical expenses increased the likelihood of household SNAP participation in the current period. Financially stable households with precautionary financial assets to cover at least 6 months worth of household expenses were significantly less likely to participate in SNAP. The low income households who recently experienced an increase in out of pocket medical expenses but had adequate precautionary savings were less likely than similar households who did not have precautionary savings to participate in SNAP. Implications for economists, policy makers, and household finance professionals are discussed.

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Date: 2018-11
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Handle: RePEc:arx:papers:1811.05421