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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

Kalman Rupp

Government of the United States of America - Social Security Administration

Gerald F. Riley

Health Care Financing Administration

Date Written: August 1, 2012

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Rupp, Kalman and Riley, Gerald F., Longitudinal Patterns of Medicaid and Medicare Coverage Among Disability Cash Benefit Awardees (August 1, 2012). Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 72, No. 3, pp. 19-35, 2012. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2122074

Kalman Rupp (Contact Author)

Government of the United States of America - Social Security Administration ( email )

Washington, DC 20254
United States

Gerald F. Riley

Health Care Financing Administration

Hubert H Humphrey Bldg. Room 341-H
200 Independence Avenue SW Office of Strategic Planning
Washington, DC 20201
United States

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