The Responsiveness of Private Savings to Medicaid Long Term Care Policies

Published: 2007


This paper examines the extent to which private savings responds to the availability of a social insurance program. We focus on the Medicaid nursing home assistance program and uses variation in state Medicaid policies in the 1960s and 1990s to identify whether household wealth correlates negatively with access to public insurance coverage.  We use data from the 1962 and 1970 Survey of Consumer Finances and the 1992 through 2002 Health and Retirement Study.  We find that household savings in 1970 was substantially lower in states with easier access to Medicaid assistance and that household savings in the 1990s was lower when access to the Medicaid program was lower.

Key Findings