Response to McWilliams Commentary

"Assessing the Health Effects of Medicare Coverage for Previously Uninsured Adults: a Matter of Life and Death?"

Published in: HSR, Health Services Research, v. 45, no. 5, pt. 1, Oct. 2010, p. 1423-1429

Posted on RAND.org on December 31, 2009

by Daniel Polsky, Jalpa A. Doshi, Willard G. Manning, Susan M. Paddock, Liyi Cen, Jeannette Rogowski, Jose J. Escarce

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This commentary responds to previously published analysis, which concluded that (based on Health retirement Survey [HRS] data), seniors who were previously uninsured but then become eligible for Medicare have attenuated risk of death relative to seniors who were previously insured. This commentary disagrees with the previous analysis and concludes that the HRS does not provide sufficient evidence that the population health trajectory of the previously uninsured is significantly altered by the acquisition of Medicare coverage at age 65.

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