Family, Income, and Medicaid Policy: Modeling Long-Term Care Decisions

Selena Caldera , LBJ School of Public Affairs - University of Texas at Austin

Providing care for older family members is a difficult and costly decision that many families face. Formal long-term care (LTC) in a facility outside the home is expensive and informal caregivers may incur high opportunity costs, including limiting work hours or forgoing employment. Existing research focuses on this as a supply issue and ignores how characteristics of elders and their family members and Medicaid LTC policy jointly factor into decisions between LTC types. I incorporate data on both the elders and potential caregivers in an event history model to examine the relative importance of economic and demographic factors of the elder and potential family caregivers in individual care decisions, and the moderating role of public LTC policy in these decisions. Preliminary findings indicate that Medicaid eligibility is the strongest enabling characteristic in the model, motivating a more detailed look at the influence of state policy variation on LTC decisions.

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 Presented in Session 74. Demography of Formal and Informal Care