We previously reported on research that showed that employment rates for people with disabilities in states where Medicaid had been expanded was higher than in states that had not expanded Medicaid. The researchers who conducted that study have done a follow-up to that report which confirms their earlier findings. The research shows that the employment rate for individuals with disabilities who were living in expansion states increased from 41.3% in 2013 right before the Medicaid expansion to 47% in 2017. Unemployment rates also dropped from 32% in 2013 to 27% in 2017.
Prior to Medicaid expansion, many people with disabilities were forced into a phenomenon called Health Insurance Motivated Disability Enrollment (HIMDE) where they enroll in social security disability or some other disability program, not for the cash assistance, but due to the fact that it provides access to health coverage through Medicaid. Under the Medicaid expansion, people with disabilities are now free to engage in employment and earn a living without the fear of losing their health coverage.
The article entitled “Medicaid Expansion as an Employment Incentive Program for People With Disabilities” was written as part of the Collaborative on Health Reform and Independent Living (CHRIL) with which the NDNRC is involved.