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As BDT continues to expand its national reach, we’re excited to share the official launch of the Michigan Benefits Center — establishing Michigan as the seventh state where BDT conducts statewide data-driven outreach and provides phone-based assistance to help people get access to food assistance programs that are vital to their health and well-being.
This effort between BDT and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services will augment the state’s efforts to focus on families and individuals who are likely eligible for, but not currently enrolled in, SNAP.
In our latest blog, Trooper Sanders, who grew up in Michigan, shares thoughts on a greater roadmap that can help to lift millions of people out of poverty and how the Michigan Benefits Center can help us get there.
We are grateful for the opportunity to work with public servants in Michigan and across the nation with support from our philanthropic partners — including the Walmart Foundation and Share Our Strength — which helped make it possible to launch the Michigan Benefits Center.
A recent study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine analyzed the relationship between Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participation and health outcomes among more than 115,000 North Carolina older adults enrolled in Medicare and Medicaid, but not yet participating in SNAP. Benefits Data Trust (BDT) was one of two data sources for the study, providing the researchers with data on BDT’s outreach to these individuals between 2017 and 2020.
According to the study, the SNAP enrollment rate among participants was 7.6 times higher for people who received BDT’s outreach and application assistance compared to those who did not. This finding is significant because the study also found that enrolling eligible seniors in SNAP is beneficial for their health and also for state governments when it comes to spending. Higher enrollment by older adults in SNAP was associated with fewer hospital and long-term care admissions as well as emergency room visits. Those decreases created an estimated savings in North Carolina of
more than $2,300 per person annually in Medicaid costs.
This study was funded by the National Institutes of Health. BDT's randomized benefits outreach and assistance studied in this research were made possible through state funding from North Carolina, federal SNAP Outreach Plan match dollars, and funding from the Walmart Foundation.
BDT and Maycomb Capital are thrilled to share a new collaboration designed to improve individual and community health outcomes and reduce avoidable care costs. With a focus on facilitating large-scale investments in public benefits access, this partnership offers social impact financing to enable health plans and BDT to mitigate the financial risk associated with performance-based contracts. By working together, the goal is to help scale efforts to connect people to public benefits and improve health outcomes.
Millions of Americans use SNAP to sustain themselves and their families, but nearly 1 in 5 lose their benefits around recertification and interim reporting deadlines. Often, the reason is due to procedural reasons like missing an interview, not ineligibility. At a time when most service providers send text message reminders about payment due dates, why shouldn't SNAP recipients receive messages in the same way?
In order to advance that goal, BDT collaborated with the Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation at Georgetown University to create a guidebook that equips state and local agencies with the practical insights they need to develop a text messaging outreach program for SNAP recertification that can help eligible families keep their SNAP benefits.