Medicaid for Low-Income People with Disabilities

Enrollment of low-income people with disabilities into Medicaid programs has increased steadily since the first Scorecard, from about 52 percent in 2011 to 59 percent in 2021, the data year scored in this edition of the Scorecard. Driving this increase at the national level have been Medicaid expansion and policies implemented in response to COVID. Since the 2020 Scorecard, 21 states increased enrollment by ten percent or more; only seven states decreased by ten percent or more.

For this indicator, race and ethnicity data were available, but not used as part of the scoring calculation for state performance. Because within-state differences do not necessarily correlate to differences in LTSS system performance, this indicator was scored for the total population (all races/ethnicities) only.

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* This indicator is scored for the total population (all races/ethnicities) only.  Within-state differences in the metric value do not necessarily correspond to differences in LTSS system performance.
†† Due to small sample size of one or more racial/ethnic groups, this indicator could not be calculated.  An imputed value was used for scoring, but is not displayed or ranked.


The percentage of people ages 21+ with a self-care difficultly (difficulty dressing or bathing; a reasonable approximation to activities of daily living disability) at or below 250% of the poverty threshold who have health insurance through Medicaid, medical assistance, or any kind of government assistance plan for those with low incomes or a disability. We chose 250% of poverty in order to fully capture the effect of state policies extending Medicaid eligibility for LTSS up to 300% of Supplemental Security Income.

The percentage of the target population that has Medicaid or other government assistance health insurance was calculated for each year, and this percentage was averaged across the three “current years” and two “reference years” to create the current and baseline indicator values.

US Census Bureau, ACS PUMS, American Community Survey Public Use Microdata Sample (Washington, DC: US Census Bureau, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021),

Data are from AARP Public Policy Institute analysis of 2020–2021 American Community Survey Public Use Microdata Sample. 2018–2019 reference data are from the same source.


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