On October 3, 2023, Wharton CEO and TIAA Institute hosted the Health Care and Financial Wellness for All Roundtable. The symposium convened a small group of experts to address health and finance inequities, their determinants, and practical solutions to mitigate their adverse effects.
While the researchers and practitioners present shared many insights, here are the top four recommendations for increasing equity in health and financial wellness:
Financial literacy programs and research aimed at addressing inequity must be tailored to Black and Latina women’s financial goals, needs, and well-being. Women, Black and Latine persons are disproportionately likely to be financially fragile — they have fewer assets, less access to capital, and suffer with more financial stress. (Olivia S. Mitchell)
Draft your power of attorney, healthcare proxy, living trust, living will, and last will and testament forms today. In the US, the majority of caregivers are women. The financial, labor, and time commitments fall disproportionately on women and are likely to negatively impact their financial wellness following caregiving. (Judith Kozlowski)
Guaranteed income can positively impact quality of life, anxiety and depression, housing and food security, healthcare use and spending, and mid-term mortality rates of cancer patients. Nearly half of all cancer patients deplete their life savings within two years of diagnosis, and those who survive cancer are almost 3x more likely to file for bankruptcy than the average person. Risk for financial toxicity increases when a person is younger, a woman or femme, on Medicaid or uninsured, retired or jobless, or non-white. (Meredith Doherty)
Black patients should be recommended for neurogenetic testing with the same frequency as white patients. Black patients and patients from low-income areas are less likely to be evaluated through neurogenetic testing. Genetic testing can help reveal TTR gene mutations that impact roughly 1 in 4 Black Americans. Mutations like TTR-Amyloidosis are linked to cardiovascular disease, one of the leading causes of death for Black Americans. (Aaron Baldwin)