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Who receives medicaid in old age? Rules and reality

Author

Listed:
  • Margherita Borella

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies)

  • Mariacristina De Nardi

    () (Institute for Fiscal Studies and UCL & CEPR)

  • Eric French

    () (Institute for Fiscal Studies and IFS and UCL)

Abstract

Medicaid is a government program that also provides health insurance to the old who have little assets and either low income or catastrophic health care expenses. We ask how the Medicaid rules map into the reality of Medicaid recipiency and what other observable characteristics are important to determine who ends up on Medicaid. The data show that both singles and couples with high retirement income can end up on Medicaid at very advanced ages. We find that, conditioning on a large number of observable characteristics, including those that directly relate to Medicaid eligibility criteria, single women are more likely to end up on Medicaid. So are non-whites, but, surprisingly, their higher recipiency is concentrated in the higher income percentiles. We also find that low-income people with a high school diploma or higher are much less likely to end up on Medicaid than their less educated counterparts. All of these effects are large and depend on retirement income in a very non-linear way.

Suggested Citation

  • Margherita Borella & Mariacristina De Nardi & Eric French, 2017. "Who receives medicaid in old age? Rules and reality," IFS Working Papers W17/04, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:ifs:ifsewp:17/04
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    12. Jeffrey R. Brown & Amy Finkelstein, 2008. "The Interaction of Public and Private Insurance: Medicaid and the Long-Term Care Insurance Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 1083-1102, June.
    13. Mariacristina De Nardi & Eric French & John Bailey Jones, 2016. "Medicaid Insurance in Old Age," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(11), pages 3480-3520, November.
    14. John Ameriks & Andrew Caplin & Steven Laufer & Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh, 2011. "The Joy of Giving or Assisted Living? Using Strategic Surveys to Separate Public Care Aversion from Bequest Motives," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 66(2), pages 519-561, April.
    15. Mariacristina De Nardi & Eric French & John Bailey Jones, 2009. "Life Expectancy and Old Age Savings," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 110-115, May.
    16. William F. Bassett, 2007. "Medicaid's Nursing Home Coverage and Asset Transfers," Public Finance Review, , vol. 35(3), pages 414-439, May.
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    18. Eric French & John Bailey Jones, 2004. "On the distribution and dynamics of health care costs," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(6), pages 705-721.
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    Cited by:

    1. Margherita Borella & Mariacristina De Nardi & Fang Yang, 2019. "The lost ones: the opportunities and outcomes of non-college-educated Americans born in the 1960s," Working Papers 2019-022, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    2. Eric French & John Bailey Jones & Elaine Kelly & Jeremy McCauley, 2018. "End-of-Life Medical Expenses," Working Paper 18-18, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
    3. Martin Benjamin Hackmann & R. Vincent Pohl, 2018. "Patient vs. Provider Incentives in Long-Term Care," CESifo Working Paper Series 7373, CESifo.
    4. Margherita Borella & Mariacristina De Nardi & Fang Yang, 2017. "The Effects of Marriage-Related Taxes and Social Security Benefits," NBER Working Papers 23972, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Margherita Borella & Mariacristina De Nardi & Fang Yang, 2020. "The Lost Ones: The Opportunities and Outcomes of White, Non-College-Educated Americans Born in the 1960s," NBER Macroeconomics Annual, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(1), pages 67-115.
    6. Margherita Borella & Mariacristina De Nardi & Fang Yang, 2019. "Are Marriage-Related Taxes and Social Security Benefits Holding Back Female Labor Supply?," NBER Working Papers 26097, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Borella, Margherita & De Nardi, Mariacristina & Yang, Fang, 2017. "Marriage-related policies in an estimated life-cycle model of households' labor supply and savings for two cohorts," CEPR Discussion Papers 12390, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Margherita Borella & Fang Yang & Mariacristina De Nardi, 2019. "The changing opportunities and outcomes of non-college educated Americans," 2019 Meeting Papers 206, Society for Economic Dynamics.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Medicaid; elderly; permanent income;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H51 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Health
    • I13 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Insurance, Public and Private
    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health

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