Disability, Medical Expenses, and State Medicaid Expansion Status

Heide Jackson , U.S. Census Bureau

The prevalence of disability has recently increased among middle-age adults. People with a disability face myriad of costs, including health care costs associated with treating health conditions related to impairment. In the long term, provisions of the Affordable Care Act, particularly the expansion of Medicaid eligibility, may benefit adults with disabilities by improving their access to care and thus their health and wellbeing. In the short term, however, policy changes may lead to increases in burden from increased medical expenses from receiving previously unmet medical care. Using a difference-in-difference approach, this study will compare out-of-pocket medical expenses for adults with and without a disability by state Medicaid expansion status. To quantify the implications of differences for economic wellbeing, we examine how the Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM) status of disabled adults in non-expansion states would change in a counterfactual scenario where they have the expenditures of disabled adults in expansion states.

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 Presented in Session 5. Health & Mortality 1