Working with countless disabled and homebound older adults, professor Namkee Choi sees many who live with no health insurance. After the onset of disability in their 50s, people could no longer work and lost their coverage.
“Eligibility for Medicare and/or Medicaid is tough, and many did not have it for many years when they needed it the most,” says Choi, who is the Louis and Ann Wolens Centennial Chair in Gerontology in the Steve Hicks School of Social Work.
In a recent article published the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Choi and colleague Diana DiNitto, Cullen Trust Centennial Professor in Alcohol Studies and Education in the Steve Hicks School of Social Work, found that lack of coverage is a particular problem for this group, which lives with more chronic health conditions than younger groups, but is not old enough for Medicare. Income among this group members, especially for those who still work part or full time, is too high to qualify for Medicaid.
The researchers analyzed data from 2013 to 2018, and discovered that near-older adults without health insurance were at least seven times more likely as other patients to have gone without needed care because of cost constraints.