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The Responsiveness of Private Savings to Medicaid Long Term Care Policies

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Listed:
  • Purvi Sevak

    (Hunter College)

  • Lina Walker

    (Congressional Budget Office)

Abstract

This paper examines the extent to which private savings responds to the availability of a social insurance program. We focus on the Medicaid nursing home assistance program and uses variation in state Medicaid policies in the 1960s and 1990s to identify whether household wealth correlates negatively with access to public insurance coverage. We use data from the 1962 and 1970 Survey of Consumer Finances and the 1992 through 2002 Health and Retirement Study. We find that household savings in 1970 was substantially lower in states with easier access to Medicaid assistance and that household savings in the 1990s was lower when access to the Medicaid program was lower.

Suggested Citation

  • Purvi Sevak & Lina Walker, 2007. "The Responsiveness of Private Savings to Medicaid Long Term Care Policies," Working Papers wp150, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
  • Handle: RePEc:mrr:papers:wp150
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    File URL: http://www.mrrc.isr.umich.edu/publications/Papers/pdf/wp150.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Erik Hurst & James P. Ziliak, 2006. "Do Welfare Asset Limits Affect Household Saving?: Evidence from Welfare Reform," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 41(1).
    2. Levin, Laurence, 1998. "Are assets fungible?: Testing the behavioral theory of life-cycle savings," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 59-83, July.
    3. Jonathan Gruber & Aaron Yelowitz, 1999. "Public Health Insurance and Private Savings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(6), pages 1249-1274, December.
    4. Lara Gardner & Donna Gilleskie, 2006. "The Effects of State Medicaid Policies on the Dynamic Savings Patterns of the Elderly," NBER Working Papers 12208, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Mariacristina De Nardi & Eric French & John Bailey Jones, 2005. "Differential mortality, uncertain medical expenses, and the saving of elderly singles," Working Paper Series WP-05-13, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    6. Powers, Elizabeth T., 1998. "Does means-testing welfare discourage saving? evidence from a change in AFDC policy in the United States," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 33-53, April.
    7. Jonathan Skinner & Stephen P. Zeldes, 2002. "The Importance of Bequests and Life-Cycle Saving in Capital Accumulation: A New Answer," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 274-278, May.
    8. Levin, Laurence, 1995. "Demand for health insurance and precautionary motives for savings among the elderly," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(3), pages 337-367, July.
    9. Michael G. Palumbo, 1999. "Uncertain Medical Expenses and Precautionary Saving Near the End of the Life Cycle," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(2), pages 395-421.
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