Research Report Economic Hardship and Medicaid Enrollment in Later Life
Assessing the Impact of Disability, Health, and Marital Status Shocks
Richard W. Johnson, Melissa M. Favreault
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Many older adults experience health, marital, and other shocks that undermine financial security. This report projects the incidence of economic hardship, defined as having income, net of out-of-pocket spending on medical care and long-term services and supports (LTSS), that falls below 100 percent of the federal poverty level. The projections cover adults born between 1941 and 1975. Results show that 69 percent of older adults experience hardship for at least one year after age 65, and 53 percent experience hardship for at least three years. Extended LTSS needs and out-of-pocket LTSS expenses often create hardship for older adults with substantial lifetime earnings and trigger Medicaid enrollment.

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Research Areas Health and health care Wealth and financial well-being Aging and retirement Families Social safety net
Tags Economic well-being Poverty Welfare and safety net programs Health equity Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program  Family structure Long-term services and support Retirement Social Security Retirement policy Disability equity policy
Policy Centers Income and Benefits Policy Center