Key Findings Details
Social Security Benefit Claiming and Medicare Utilization
John Bound, Helen Levy and Lauren Nicholas
- We use administrative Medicare claims linked to nationally representative Health and Retirement Study data to compare health care utilization at common ages among four groups of Social Security recipients.
- Social Security beneficiaries claiming prior to their Full Eligibility Age are modestly less healthy than those who delay, but significantly healthier than DI recipients or rejected applicants.
- Rejected applicants appear more similar to DI recipients than to beneficiaries who never apply for DI benefits, though this difference is attenuated with additional time in Medicare.
- Our results suggest there could be a modest increase in DI application and receipt in response to increases in the EEA and FRA, though most early claimers would be too healthy for DI.