New Research by The Buckeye Institute Finds Work Requirements Would Increase Lifetime Earnings for Medicaid RecipientsDec 03, 2018
Columbus, OH – A new report, Healthy and Working: Benefits of Work Requirements for Medicaid Recipients, released today by The Buckeye Institute’s Economic Research Center found that work and community engagement requirements keep benefit recipients participating in the work force, helping them gain valuable work experience and generate higher earnings and income.
“Medicaid expansion has had the unintended consequence of causing healthy, single adults to leave the labor force or reduce their work hours to maintain or qualify for Medicaid benefits. And by exiting the work force, workers have risked reducing their lifetime earnings,” said Rea S. Hederman Jr., executive director of the Economic Research Center at The Buckeye Institute and vice president of policy. “Our research shows that work and community engagement requirements can lead to better job opportunities with better quality private insurance, higher earnings, and provide incentives to work towards economic prosperity.”
In its latest report, Buckeye researchers used publicly available economic data to estimate the effect of Medicaid work requirements on the lifetime income of recipients who would be impacted by work requirements—healthy, single individuals with no dependents. Researchers found that implementing work requirements could:
- Increase the lifetime earnings to close to $1 million for individuals who transition off of Medicaid;
- Increase lifetime earnings by more than $212,000 for women and more than $323,000 for men who remain on Medicaid for their entire working life; and
- Raise the hours worked per week by 22 hours for women (from 12 hours to 34 hours per week), and by 25 hours for men (from 13 hours to 38 hours per week), bringing Medicaid recipients well above the typical 20 hours per week requirement.
“Economists know that continual work has benefits for individuals well beyond the immediate paycheck. Through continual work, we gain knowledge, training, and skills—human capital—that have an increasing value to employers which can lead to higher earnings and promotion,” said Andrew J. Kidd, Ph.D., an economist with the Economic Research Center at The Buckeye Institute. “Implementing work requirements for Medicaid eligibility creates an incentive for individuals to increase their human capital investment by keeping them in the labor market, which may lead to significant economic benefits.”
Healthy and Working was co-authored by Rea S. Hederman Jr., executive director of the Economic Research Center at The Buckeye Institute and vice president of policy; Andrew J. Kidd, Ph.D., an economist with the Economic Research Center, Tyler Shankel, an economic policy analyst with the Economic Research Center; and James B. Woodward, Ph.D., an economic research analyst with the Economic Research Center.
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