The High Cost and Low Availability of Health Insurance and Its Effect on SSDI

Another important factor in people’s decision to apply for Social Security disability benefits is the decreased access to health insurance.  As employer-sponsored insurance programs deteriorate and private policies become more expensive and unobtainable, some workers apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) for eventual Medicare benefits.  SSDI beneficiaries may qualify for Medicare after two years, so for some, it may seem worthwhile to wait for those benefits rather than participating in the other two options.

Furthermore, researchers have found that states requiring “guaranteed issue”- a term that means insurers cannot deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions such as age, gender, health, etc.- saw lower numbers of workers enrolling in SSDI.  This phenomenon suggests that reformed health care will contribute to lessening the pressures placed upon the disability programs.

For more information about how Medicare plays a role in people’s decision to apply for SSDI, click here to download the research.