Longitudinal Patterns of Medicaid and Medicare Coverage Among Disability Cash Benefit Awardees
Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 72, No. 3, pp. 19-35, 2012
17 Pages Posted: 3 Aug 2012 Last revised: 25 Apr 2015
Date Written: August 1, 2012
This article explores the role of the Social Security Disability Insurance (DI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) cash benefit programs in providing access to public health insurance coverage among working-aged people with disabilities, using a sample of administrative records spanning 84 months. We find that complex longitudinal interactions between DI and SSI eligibility determine access to and timing of Medicare and Medicaid coverage. SSI plays an important role in providing a pathway to Medicaid coverage for many low-income individuals during the 29-month combined DI and Medicare waiting periods, when Medicare coverage is not available. After Medicare eligibility kicks in, public health insurance coverage is virtually complete among awardees with some DI involvement. Medicaid coverage continues at or above 90 percent after 2 years for SSI-only awardees. Many people who exit SSI retain their Medicaid coverage, but the gap in coverage between stayers and those who leave SSI increases over time.
Keywords: Disability Insurance, Supplemental Security Income, Medicaid, Medicare, working-aged disabled, cash benefits, health insurance coverage, dual eligibles, program interactions
JEL Classification: H51, H53, H55, I13, I18, I38
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