Volume 14 Issue 1 - February 2014
Featured Key Findings
Disability Insurance and Healthcare Reform: Evidence from Massachusetts by Nicole Maestas, Kathleen Mullen and Alexander Strand WP 2013-289
- We find that the MA health insurance reform in 2006-07 initially increased applications slightly for SSDI in MA relative to neighboring states, although the difference in application rates disappeared by late 2008.
- Counties with low pre-reform health insurance coverage rates experienced net decreases in total SSDI and SSI applications, whereas counties with high pre-reform health insurance coverage rates experienced net increases in SSDI and SSI applications relative to neighboring states.
- New SSDI applications in high insurance counties came from the newly unemployed, whereas the new SSDI applications in low insurance counties came from the long term unemployed/disabled.
- Since MA had higher health insurance coverage rates than the rest of the U.S. prior to the reform, this may point to a potential decrease in SSDI and SSI applications in the coming years, with a shift (at least initially) in the composition of new applications toward the SSDI program, as provisions of the Affordable Care Act go into effect.
Social Security Benefit Claiming and Medicare Utilization by 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.
Costs and Benefits of In-Kind Transfers: The Case of Medicaid Home Care Benefits by Ethan Lieber and Lee Lockwood
- In-kind provision of home care benefits significantly distorts the use of formal and informal care.
- In-kind provision significantly improves program targeting.
- In-kind provision appears to have little effect on tax system efficiency and moral hazard in the context of the Samaritan’s Dilemma.
- The measurable benefits of in-kind provision appear to be of a similar size to the consumption distortion cost.