Integrating Wealth & Health
Assets and financial security are critical determinants of
health. Asset Funders Network’s recent report,
The Health and Wealth Connection: Opportunities for Investment
across the Life Course, highlights studies that measure the
impact of household wealth on health outcomes and healthy
behavior. People with more wealth have lower death rates, lower
rates of chronic diseases, improved mental health, and lower
rates of smoking, obesity, and excessive alcohol use. Children in
wealthier families also have lower obesity rates and fewer
markers of asthma. Other studies found that wealth disparities
contribute more to racial health disparities than education,
occupation, and income.
Recognizing the connection between their clients’ financial security and health, health systems throughout the country have integrated financial empowerment into their existing centers and services through referrals, partnerships with asset development providers, and internal programs. Some have also promoted financial security for existing workers through supportive services and targeted employer contributions toward asset accumulation.