While Medicare provides health insurance coverage for those over 65 years of age, many still are underinsured, experiencing substantial out-of-pocket costs for covered and non-covered services as a proportion of their income. Using the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), this study found that being underinsured is a significant predictor of entering into Medicaid coverage over a 16-year period. The rate of entering Medicaid was almost twice as high for those who were underinsured and with physical and/or cognitive impairment than those who were not, while supplemental health insurance reduced the rate of entering Medicaid by 30 %. Providing more comprehensive coverage through the traditional Medicare program, including a ceiling on out-of-pocket expenditures or targeted support for those with physical or cognitive impairment, could postpone becoming covered by Medicaid and yield savings in Medicaid.
- Cognitive impairment
- Health care costs
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health(social science)
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health