When asked how employers could help improve their financial lives, connecting them to information and advice was just one idea offered by interviewees. Higher wages and benefits that subsidized or reduced typical expenses were much stronger recommendations, suggesting that employees might find it easier to see valuable solutions in those domains.
Michal Grinstein-Weiss, PhD Inducted into American Academy of Social Work (Links to an external site)
Michal Grinstein-Weiss, PhD, MA, MSW, Director of the Centene Center for Health Transformation, was recently inducted into the American Academy of Social Work & Social Welfare (AASWSW). The AASWSW is an honorific society of distinguished scholars and practitioners dedicated to achieving excellence in the field of social work and social welfare through high-impact work that advances social good.
How to Collect and Use Data to Improve Workplace Financial Wellness (Links to an external site)
o Without knowing what the financial lives of your employees look like, it’s hard to know how to improve their financial wellness. Before asking what your employees need, it’s best to ask, “What are the financial realities our employees face?” Answering this question up front will not only help with program selection, it can pay dividends after program implementation to help measure progress.
How employers choose the right mix of financial wellness products and services
Frank-Miller, E. and Despard, M.;
Dissemination of research findings from the Employee Financial Wellness Programs project through a series of webinars to the National Fund for Workforce Solutions’ regional collaboratives.
Breaking Down Barriers to Better Health (Links to an external site)
A new short-format video produced through Centene’s industry-academia partnership, the Centene Center for Health Transformation™, sets the stage for current and future investigation into the impact of social determinants on health behaviors and health outcomes.
Assessing the short-term stability of financial well-being in low- and moderate-income households
Sun, S., Roll, S. P., Kondratjeva, O., Bufe, S., & Grinstein-Weiss, M. (2019, March). Assessing the Short-Term Stability of Financial Well-Being in Low- and Moderate-Income Households. (SPI Research Brief No. 19-01). St. Louis, MO: Washington University, Social Policy Institute.
How do changing financial circumstances relate to financial well-being? Evidence from a national survey
Bufe, S., Sun, S., Roll, S. P., Kondratjeva, O., & Grinstein-Weiss, M. (2019, March). How do Changing Financial Circumstances Relate to Financial Well-Being? Evidence from a National Survey. (SPI Research Brief No. 19-02). St. Louis, MO: Washington Univer¬sity, Social Policy Institute.
High-Touch Servicing: How to Invest in Employees’ Financial Futures (Links to an external site)
To comprehensively address employee financial wellness, employers should include a mix of “high-touch” and “low-touch” financial programs. Higher-touch programs, like financial coaching and counseling, are better positioned to support financial stability over a sustained period of time and can be tailored to meet the situations of those most vulnerable to financial insecurity.
Health Education and Behavior Publishes Centene Center for Health Transformation Research Examining Social Needs and Health Outcomes (Links to an external site)
Unmet basic needs — which include but are not limited to food, housing and utilities — have long been associated with a range of negative health-related outcomes. New research by the Centene Center for Health Transformation now confirms that people with multiple unmet needs have even worse health outcomes.
Three behavioral design policy scenarios to promote financial health: Consumption, risk, and perception
Despard, M.; Presentation sponsored by Duke University’s Center for Advanced Hindsight on behavioral design principles and financial health.
Low-Touch Servicing: Helping Employees in a Financial Pinch (Links to an external site)
Unfortunately, not having enough money to cover unforeseen expenses or experiencing a loss of income is common for many families living paycheck-to-paycheck, who risk missing important payments like rent. But, employers can help by offering low-touch interventions like wage advances or small-dollar loans.
Understanding the financial lives of employees and solutions to increase their financial wellness
Frank-Miller, E. and Despard, M.; Dissemination of research findings from the Employee Financial Wellness Programs project through a series of webinars to the National Fund for Workforce Solutions’ regional collaboratives. Hosted by the National Fund for Workforce Solutions.
The Untapped Potential of Workplace Financial Wellness Programs (Links to an external site)
When employers learn more about what employees experience and prefer, they also need to consider offering a mix of programs. Considering different types of content is important, but so is crafting a mix of “high-touch” and “low-touch” programs that offer direct, immediate resources as well as support for achieving longer-term goals.
Obamacare helps people make mortgage payments and rent, study concludes (Links to an external site)
The passage of the 2010 Affordable Care Act provided many more Americans access to health insurance, but Obamacare’s legacy goes beyond medicine. According to new research, greater access to health insurance also leads to a significant reduction in Americans becoming delinquent on rent and mortgage payments. Riquier, A.
Fresh Food Rx Secures Food for Healthy Moms and Babies (Links to an external site)
A collaboration between SSM Health DePaul Hospital and Operation Food Search connects obstetrics patients in the St. Louis area with nutritious food and other necessities to promote healthy pregnancies and improve birth outcomes for mothers and babies.
Food Prescription Program Sends Groceries to Pregnant Moms in Need (Links to an external site)
SSM Health DePaul’s OB Care Center and local food bank Operation Food Search partnered to create the “Fresh R-X” program. Doctors and nurse practitioners screen expecting mothers for food insecurity during checkups.
Operation Food Search Launches New Program to Help Pregnant Women (Links to an external site)
Lucinda Perry from Operation Food Search promotes “Fresh RX-Nourishing Healthy Starts”, a fresh food prescription program that aims to help pregnant women make good food choices.
Operation Food Search Launch Event
January 31, 2019: Learn how this innovative program provides fresh local food for strong moms and healthy babies. Enjoy food from local farmers while meeting program contributors and participants.
The View from Here 1.23.19 (Links to an external site)
Michal Grinstein-Weiss, Associate Dean for Policy Initiatives and professor at the Brown School, recently represented Washington University in St. Louis at the University Social Responsibility Summit, co-hosted by the University of Haifa, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Niemeyer, K.
Hope You Aren’t Counting on Getting a Tax Refund This Winter (Links to an external site)
While the Trump administration has pledged that the Internal Revenue Service will still issue tax refunds, recent changes to the tax code will make that promise difficult to keep, especially with regard to these critical refunds. As the shutdown stretches on, people who depend on the EITC for relief may face serious hardship. Capps, K.
Behavioral Economics Nudgeathon – Next Steps and Using Behavioral Economics to Impact Policy and Practice
The Nudgeathon program aims to improve the performance of social services provided by the JDC by employing Behavioral Economics methodologies and tools. The main tool used is a “nudge.” Nudges are interventions designed to influence people’s behavior by subtly altering the choice architecture in which they make decisions without limiting their freedom of choice.
Health insurance or house payments? Obamacare means many poor Americans are able to pay their rent and mortgages on time by reducing health care costs, study shows (Links to an external site)
Researchers from University of Colorado at Boulder and Washington University in St. Louis analyzed three years of tax data and survey responses from 15,000 people to test the effect of having health insurance among low-income Americans. They found that low-income people who purchased health care through an Obamacare marketplace were 25 percent less likely than poor Americans without health insurance to miss housing payments. Bauman, V.
Five things to know about Financial Wellness Programs (Links to an external site)
According to a 2017 survey by benefits consultants Alight Solutions, almost 25 percent of employers have a financial wellness program in place, and almost half are in the process of creating one. Some three out of four firms with more than 10,000 employees now offer a financial wellness program, according to a recent study by the Employee Benefits Research Institute. Wasik, J.
Financial well-being in low- and moderate-income households: How does it compare to the general population?
Sun, S., Kondratjeva, O., Roll, S. P., Despard, M., & Grinstein-Weiss, M. (2018, December). Financial well-being in low- and moderate-income households: How does it compare to the general population? (SPI Research Brief No. 18-03). St. Louis, MO: Washington Univer¬sity, Social Policy Institute.
Advancing Social Responsibility through Cross-Sector Partnerships. University Social Responsibility Network Summit, Haifa, Israel
Dr. Grinstein-Weiss discusses inter-sectional collaboration in promoting social responsibility through innovation and entrepreneurship at the University Social Responsibility Network Summit.
Financial Well-Being: Across Generations, Income Levels, and Business Models (Links to an external site)
Frank-Miller, E.; Speaker at The Conference Board’s Employee Financial Well-Being Conference, Chicago, IL.
Panel: Elevating the Well-Being of Low-Income Families through State and Federal Safety Net Programs (Links to an external site)
November 10, 2018: 10:15 AM-11:45 AM McKinley – Mezz Level (Marriott Wardman Park) Panel Chairs: Nisha Patel, Robin HoodDiscussants: Jeremie Greer, Prosperity Now and David Newville, Prosperity Now
Panel: Policies and Interventions to Promote the Financial Inclusion of Low- and Moderate-Income Households: Current Evidence (Links to an external site)
November 10, 2018: 8:30 AM-10:00 AM 8216 – Lobby Level (Marriott Wardman Park) Panel Chairs: Anne Romatowski, JP Morgan Chase & Co.Discussants: Kasey Wiedrich, Prosperity Now
Panel: Building Assets in Economically Vulnerable and Underprivileged Populations: Barriers and Opportunities (Links to an external site)
November 9, 2018: 8:30 AM-10:00 AM
8228 – Lobby Level (Marriott Wardman Park) Panel Chairs: Olga Kondratjeva, Washington University in St. Louis
Discussants: Stephen Grant, Prudential Workplace Solutions Group
Workplace financial wellness programs: Resources for regional collaborative sites
Frank-Miller, E.; Dissemination of research findings from the Employee Financial Wellness Programs project to the National Fund for Workforce Solutions’ regional collaboratives. Hosted by the National Fund for Workforce Solutions.
Can Precommitment Increase Savings Deposits? Evidence from a Tax Time Field Experiment (Links to an external site)
This work aims to encourage the saving of the tax refund through an experiment embedding behavioral interventions in a tax filing platform serving almost a million low- and moderate-income households.
Tax-Time Saving Among EITC Recipients: Results of a Large-Scale Experiment Informed by Behavioral Economics (Links to an external site)
Low- and moderate-income (LMI) households lack sufficient liquid assets to address unexpected emergencies and dips in income (McKernan, Ratcliffe, & Vinopal, 2009; Pew Charitable Trusts, 2015). Receiving tax refunds is an opportunity for recipients of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) to build emergency savings to help cope with these financial shocks.
The Impact of the Gig-Economy on Financial Hardship (Links to an external site)
On-demand peer-to-peer services (‘gigs’) coordinated by platforms like Uber, allow workers to decide for themselves when and how much to work. This flexible work arrangement offers workers granular control over their earnings.
The “Save for Every Child” program is a success – but there are those who will make more money (Links to an external site)
The Government Savings for All program, launched in January 2017, is relatively successful for similar programs in other countries, but raises concerns that should be taken into account – a study that accompanies the plan shows. Heruti-Sover, T.
The Savings for Every Child program is a success – but there are those who will earn more (Links to an external site)
Workforce financial wellness: Evidence from existing programs and future directions for philanthropy
Despard, M.; Presentation to philanthropic leaders through the Asset Funders Network summarizing research findings and recommendations from the Employee Financial Wellness Programs project. Hosted by the Asset Funders Network: Working Group on Work and Wealth.
Making dependent care FSAs work for low- to moderate-income families: 5 action steps for policymakers
Action steps for policymakers to make DCFSAs more usable and effective at reducing the child care cost burden. Project: Workforce Financial Stability Initiative
The Effect of Health Insurance on Home Payment Delinquency: Evidence from ACA Marketplace Subsidies
Gallagher, E., Gopalan, R., & Grinstein-Weiss, M. (2018). The Effect of Health Insurance on Home Payment Delinquency: Evidence from ACA Marketplace Subsidies. Journal of Public Economics. 172(1), 67-83.
The state of state EITCs: An overview and their implications for low- and moderate-income households
The success of the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) has prompted numerous states to develop and administer their own EITC programs. This brief presents the results of analyses that used data from a large sample of low- and moderate-income households to learn more about the relationship between state and federal EITCs as well as […]
Refund to Savings 2015–2016: Field experiments to promote tax-time saving in low-and moderate-income households
Roll, S. P., Davison, G., Grinstein-Weiss, M., Despard, M. R., & Bufe, S. (2018). Refund to Savings 2015–2016: Field experiments to promote tax-time saving in low- and moderate-income households (CSD Research Report No. 18-28). St. Louis, MO: Washington University, Center for Social Development.
A toolkit for expanding financial capability at tax time
This work expands upon The Volunteer Income Tax Preparer’s Toolkit: Showing Clients Why Tax Time is the Right Time to Save, a 2015 Toolkit by the Center for Social Development (CSD). This new offering presents the current evidence underpinning various tax-time efforts to expand financial capability among LMI households. It includes sections on creating a […]
Employee financial wellness programs: Differences in reach by financial circumstances
Workplace-based Employee Financial Wellness Programs (EFWPs) aim to strengthen employees’ financial well-being through services such as financial coaching, payroll advances and short term installment loans, credit counseling, debt management, and online financial management tools. Although EFWPs are a fast-growing part of employee benefit packages, offerings vary widely in service type and delivery method across employers, […]
Employee financial wellness programs: Differences in reach by race and ethnicity
Employee Financial Wellness Programs (EFWPs) consist of a wide array of workplace-based services and benefits that aim to enhance employees’ financial well-being, such as in-person financial coaching, online financial management tools, and payroll advances or short-term loans. EFWP provision varies across employers with few organizations offering the same set of services. The recently released Employee […]
Effects of a tax-time savings experiment on material and health care hardship among low-income filers
Material and health care hardship is common among households with low incomes and is associated with a host of adverse outcomes but can be mitigated with having savings. The authors assessed the effects of online tax-time savings interventions informed by behavioral economics on hardship among a sample of low- and moderate-income tax filers (N = 4,738). The […]
Encouraging Tax‐Time Savings With A Low‐Touch, Large‐Scale Intervention: Evidence From The Refund To Savings Experiment
Low‐ and moderate‐income households often struggle to save, but the annual tax refund represents a prime opportunity for these households to save toward their financial goals or build their emergency savings. This paper presents the results of a randomized, controlled experiment embedded in a free tax‐preparation product offered in 2013 to low‐ and moderate‐income households. […]
Effects of a randomized tax-time savings intervention on savings account ownership among low- and moderate-income households
Being unbanked makes it difficult for low and moderate-income (LMI) households to manage finances, save, and access credit. We assessed effects of an online tax-time savings intervention on savings account openings in the 6 months following tax filing among a sample of4,692 LMI tax filers. Treatment group participants had 60% greater odds of opening a […]
The mediating role of assets in explaining hardship risk among households experiencing financial shocks
Material hardship is common among low- and moderate-income (LMI) households. Without liquid financial assets, these households are more likely to experience hardship in the face of financial shocks—large and unexpected expenses or dips in income. Authors hypothesized that shocks have a direct effect on hardship, and that liquid financial assets partially mediate the relationship between […]
Financial shocks, liquid assets, and material hardship in low- and moderate-income households: Differences by race
Low- and moderate-income (LMI) households need financial assets to help cope with income and expenditure shocks. Prior research identifies racial differences in wealth and wealth effects. We examined whether these gaps and effects exist for liquid financial assets. Using group invariance tests in structural equation modeling, we assessed the relationship between financial shocks and material […]
Promoting savings at tax time: Insights from online and in-person tax preparation services
This report presents findings and insights from Refund to Savings: Applications for myRA, a collaborative project involving the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Washington University in St. Louis, and Intuit, Inc. The project explored methods of promoting the myRA (My Retirement Account) savings program at tax time—that is, when households file their taxes. It focused specifically on […]
Test the Psychology behind Food Indulgences: How We Trick Ourselves into Thinking Overeating Is Fine and That We’ll Bounce Back Quickly (Links to an external site)
New research from the Duke researchers at the Centene Center for Health Transformation™, published this month in the journal Appetite, explains how our lay beliefs, or naïve models, lead us to faulty assumptions about how our “dietary splurges” impact our weight, resulting in a lack of compensation following these indulgences and self-serving biases.