Adoption Of Standard Medical Deduction Increased SNAP Enrollment And Benefits In 21 Participating States
Jun Li, Dongmei Zuo, Colleen Heflin
Health Affairs, August 2023
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) reduces food insecurity but is underused among many households. To increase SNAP participation, twenty-one states have adopted the standard medical deduction (SMD), which simplifies administrative requirements for eligible households (those with older adults or people with disabilities). However, to offset the costs of the SMD, states have reduced SNAP benefits elsewhere, raising concerns of negative spillover effects.
Using national data from the period 2004–19 and a fixed-effects estimator, we found that the SMD was associated with increased SNAP participation among SMD-eligible households, in terms of aggregate household counts (20 percent) and as a share of households receiving SNAP (5 percentage points). Moreover, estimated annual SNAP benefits per state increased for SMD-eligible households but decreased (although not statistically significantly) for ineligible households. Offsetting SNAP costs may have benefited households with older adults and households with people with disabilities at the expense of others.
Sep 28, 2023
Sep 28, 2023
Sep 27, 2023