194227 Health-related unmet needs after age 18

Monday, November 9, 2009: 5:20 PM

Jeffrey Andrew Hemmeter, PhD , Office of Retirement and Disability Policy, Social Security Administration, Baltimore, MD
After the age-18 medical redetermination of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) eligibility, most youth with disabilities who exit SSI lose access to medical care. This paper compares the health-related unmet needs of those who exit to those who remain on SSI after age 18 using a nationally-representative survey of youth who received SSI, the National Survey of SSI Children and Families. Youth who exit SSI are almost twice as likely to have health-related unmet needs as those who remain on SSI after age 18. Access to care, particularly insurance coverage (Medicaid or non-Medicaid), accounts for much of the difference between these two groups; measures of health status have little effect on the presence of unmet needs. However, even controlling for insurance coverage, there remains a large difference in the prevalence of health-related unmet needs. This is especially true for prescription drug unmet needs, for which the gap between youth ineligible for and eligible for SSI remains 12 percentage points. These results support the need for transition-related health planning for youth on the verge of adulthood in the SSI population.

Learning Objectives:
1) Compare the prevalence of health-related unmet needs of youth off SSI after age 18 to those remaining on SSI. 2) Assess the relative importance of various factors, particularly health insurance and health status, on explaining the difference in unmet health needs between these two groups. 3) Discuss possible policy implications of unmet needs for youth with disabilities. 4) Describe an under-used nationally-representative data set of youth with disabilities.

Keywords: Access to Health Care, SSI Benefits

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am an economist with a Ph.D. at the Social Security Administration working on the Youth Transition Demonstration projects. Additionally, I have authored papers on the unmet needs of SSI youth and the transition to adulthood for SSI youth.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.