Expanding Medicare Coverage and Benefits for Disabled Americans


Medicare coverage is available to disabled adults under age 65 only after a two-year waiting period. Medicaid, meanwhile, is available only after virtually all income and assets have been exhausted. The waiting period, instituted for budgetary reasons in 1972, has not been revisited since, even as the number of disabled adults has grown. This project will examine the potential benefits of eliminating Medicare's waiting period in terms of improved access to health coverage for the disabled, improved coordination of care, and greater efficiency. It will provide estimates of the extra cost to the Medicare program and determine potential savings to states and the federal government in the form of reduced Medicaid expenditures. In addition, project staff will assess the implications of expanding prescription drug coverage for elderly and disabled Medicare beneficiaries-two groups for whom such coverage is especially critical.

Grant Details

Grantee Organization:
Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.
Principal Investigator:
James Verdier, J.D.
Award Amount:
Approval Date:
November 13, 2001

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