Aug 27, 2014

Obamacare May Be Reducing Number Of Disability Claims In Arkansas

     From Modern Healthcare:
The number of Arkansas residents signing up for federal disability benefits has dropped 19% since October 2013, which some state officials are attributing to expanded Medicaid eligibility....
Arkansas is providing subsidies to individuals with incomes up to 138% of the federal poverty threshold to purchase private health plans through the exchange, a model of expansion that several other Republican-controlled states are following. More than 190,000 Arkansas residents qualified for the expanded coverage through the end of July.  
State Sen. Jonathan Dismang, a Republican who was one of the architects of the “private option” plan, said that he and his colleagues had hoped that expanding Medicaid would reduce the disability rolls. “It's too early to say with any certainty that that's the case,” Dismang said. “I think that there's an indication that there has been an impact.”


Anonymous said...

short-term decrease...soon, they will be requesting MSS's from their docs to submit to SSA with a disability claim

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Such predictions are tricky since there are many factors driving the overall numbers of claims, plenty of which are demographic. However, I see some trends related to more accessible health insurance that will affect the disability numbers.

-There are many applicants for whom getting the insurance is much more important than the cash benefit. They have less motivation to file for disability if they already have insurance.

-There is a sizeable group who may be employable if they receive proper medical care, but whose medical conditions are too bad for them to work if they don't get such care.

-One group that gets little attention, but which we see daily, are people who are obviously disabled but who cannot document such adequately because they cannot get access to proper treatment. Once they get reasonable access to treatment, they will more likely win their claims, resulting in somewhat of an increase. I would argue that such is a good thing, as people who deserve the benefits should be able to get them, and removing the medical access barrier helps fulfill the purpose of the Social Security law.

Anonymous said...

They may as well credit it to any other factor since no cause/effect evidence is provided. Or perhaps they reached the super-saturation point of disability applicants and there is that natural drop off.