ISR|SRC|Michigan Retirement Research Center|UofM
Mailing List | News | Contact Us
Follow onTwitter
Main photo Promoting research on retirement and Social Security policy

Key Findings Details

Social Security Benefit Claiming and Medicare Utilization
John Bound, Helen Levy and Lauren Nicholas
WP 2013-297

  • We use administrative Medicare claims linked to nationally representative Health and Retirement Study data to compare health care utilization at common ages among four groups of Social Security recipients.
  • Social Security beneficiaries claiming prior to their Full Eligibility Age are modestly less healthy than those who delay, but significantly healthier than DI recipients or rejected applicants.
  • Rejected applicants appear more similar to DI recipients than to beneficiaries who never apply for DI benefits, though this difference is attenuated with additional time in Medicare. 
  • Our results suggest there could be a modest increase in DI application and receipt in response to increases in the EEA and FRA, though most early claimers would be too healthy for DI.