Disability Insurance and Health Insurance Reform: Evidence from Massachusetts
Kathleen J. Mullen
American Economic Review,
As health insurance becomes available outside of the employment relationship as a result of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the cost of applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)–potentially going without health insurance coverage during a waiting period totaling 29 months from disability onset–will decline for many people with employer-sponsored health insurance. At the same time, the value of SSDI and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) participation will decline for individuals who otherwise lacked access to health insurance. We study the 2006 Massachusetts health insurance reform to estimate the potential effects of the ACA on SSDI and SSI applications.