The Relationship Between Uninsured Rates Among Adults Aged 55 to 64 and Per Capita Medicare Spending at the State Level
Kim, Joanne Minn
Thomas, Adam T
Given mounting concerns over rising federal spending on the major health care programs, including Medicare, and over soaring national debt resulted from them, it is important to explore the determinants of Medicare spending. Several scholars have used individual-level longitudinal survey data to examine Medicare beneficiaries’ previous health coverage status as a possible determinant of level of their current Medicare expenditures. Using annual state-level data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services over the period 2006-2014, I estimate a fixed-effects regression model of the relationship between Medicare spending and a lagged measure of health coverage status among adults aged 55-64 at the state level. In general, I find no significant relationship. However, I find that lack of health coverage has a modest and positive relationship with subsequent Medicare spending in states with high uninsured rates among adults aged 55 to 64.
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