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Examining Medicare Waiting Period For Uninsured Disabled Workers

Armen Hareyan's picture

Study examinesMedicare waiting period for uninsured disabled workers and looked at progress reducinghealth disparities.

  • "Transitioning to Medicare Before Age 65," Health Affairs: According to the study by Pamela Farley Short of Penn State University and France Weaver of the Swiss Health Observatory, about one-quarter of disabled workers younger than age 65 who start receiving Social Security Disability Income are uninsured during the two years they must wait to obtain Medicare benefits, and employers cover about half of those in the waiting period. The researchers recommend that Congress consider eliminating the waiting period only for disabled workers who do not have access to employer-sponsored coverage because eliminating the waiting period for everyone would displace a significant amount of existing private coverage (Farley/Weaver, Health Affairs, 3/25).
  • "Decades of Work To Reduce Disparities in Health Care Produce Limited Success," Journal of the American Medical Association: In the JAMA perspective, Rebecca Voelker discusses how several recent studies show that "despite decades of efforts" to reduce racial and ethnic health care disparities, there has been limited progress in some key treatment areas, largely because health disparities reflect larger socioeconomic issues and efforts to improve overall quality of care do not specifically target disparity reduction. Voelker writes that although there are many studies that document disparities, there are few findings about how to reduce them (Voelker, JAMA, 3/26).

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