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The impact of medical and nursing home expenses and social insurance

Karen Kopecky () and Tatyana Koreshkova ()

No 2010-19, FRB Atlanta Working Paper from Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

Abstract: We consider a life-cycle model with idiosyncratic risk in earnings, out-of-pocket medical and nursing home expenses, and survival. Partial insurance is available through welfare, Medicaid, and social security. Calibrating the model to the United States, we show that (1) savings for old-age, out-of-pocket expenses account for 13.5 percent of aggregate wealth, half of which is due to nursing home expenses; (2) cross-sectional out-of-pocket nursing home risk accounts for 3 percent of aggregate wealth and substantially slows down wealth decumulation at older ages; (3) the impact of medical and nursing home expenses on private savings varies significantly across the lifetime earnings distribution; and (4) all newborns would benefit if social insurance for nursing home stays was made more generous.

Keywords: out-of-pocket medical expenses; precautionary savings; nursing home expenses; welfare costs (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: E1 E2 H3 I1 I3 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 51 pages
Date: 2010
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-age, nep-dge, nep-hea and nep-ias
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