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The effect of health reform on retirement. (Levy et al. 2015)

Absence of conflict of interest.

Citation

Levy, H., Buchmueller, T. C., & Nikpay, S. (2015). The effect of health reform on retirement (Research Paper 329). Ann Arbor, MI: Michigan Retirement Research Center.

Highlights

  • The study’s objective was to examine the impact of the expansion of Medicaid to low-income adults in 2014 on retirement rates of workers ages 55 to 64.
  • The authors used a nonexperimental analysis to compare those who lived in an expansion state to those who lived in other states. The study used data from the monthly Current Population Survey from January 2005 through July 2015.
  • The study found no statistically significant relationships between Medicaid expansion and retirement.
  • The quality of causal evidence presented in this report is low because the authors did not ensure that the groups being compared were similar before the intervention. This means we are not confident that the estimated effects are attributable to the expansion of Medicaid; other factors are likely to have contributed.

Intervention Examined

Medicaid expansion

Features of the Study

Following the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2014, 30 states and the District of Columbia had expanded Medicaid eligibility to low-income, childless adults by July 2015. The authors used a nonexperimental analysis (regression model) to compare the retirement outcomes of older individuals (ages 55 to 64) in expansion and non-expansion states. The study used Current Population Survey data on more than 2,000,000 observations between 2005 and 2015.

Findings

Employment

  • The study found no statistically significant relationships between Medicaid expansion and retirement.

Considerations for Interpreting the Findings

The study is a nonexperimental study that does not account for possible differences in pre-intervention measure of employment between the groups. Differences in the groups could explain the study’s findings.

Causal Evidence Rating

The quality of causal evidence presented in this report is low because the authors did not ensure the groups being compared were similar before the intervention. This means we are not confident that the estimated effects are attributable to the expansion of Medicaid; other factors are likely to have contributed.

Reviewed by CLEAR

September 2019

Topic Area