How Might Older Nonelderly Medicaid Adults with Disabilities Be Affected By Work Requirements in Section 1115 Waivers?
Most of the states with approved or pending Section 1115 waivers that condition Medicaid eligibility on work would apply those requirements to all or most nonelderly adults (ages 19-64) who are not receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) cash assistance, including older nonelderly adults (ages 50-64). Older nonelderly adults may be limited in their ability to satisfy a work requirement due to barriers resulting from age and/or disability. Previous analysis shows that many nonelderly Medicaid adults (ages 19-64) have functional limitations that may interfere with their ability to work but do not rise to the stringent SSI level of disability, making them potentially subject to work requirements. Older nonelderly adults are over twice as likely to have a disability than younger adults (17% vs. 7%). Furthermore, older nonelderly adults account for nearly half (45%) of all nonelderly Medicaid adults with a disability but not SSI who could be affected by a work requirement. This analysis examines the implications of work requirements for Medicaid adults ages 50 to 64 (referred to as “older nonelderly Medicaid adults”) and provides national and state level estimates of their disability, SSI, and work status using data from the 2016 American Community Survey (ACS).