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Suggested Citation:"Acronyms." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. The Growing Gap in Life Expectancy by Income: Implications for Federal Programs and Policy Responses. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/19015.
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Acronyms

AIME average indexed monthly earnings, a summary of lifetime earnings used to set a retiree’s Social Security benefit level
BMI body mass index, commonly used to distinguish underweight, overweight, and obese individuals. The index refers to weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared.
CBO Congressional Budget Office
COLA cost-of-living adjustment
CPI Consumer Price Index
CPI-W Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers
DI the federal disability insurance program administered by the Social Security Administration
EEA early entitlement age, the age at which an individual can begin receiving Social Security benefits at a reduced level relative to beginning benefit receipt at the normal retirement age
Suggested Citation:"Acronyms." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. The Growing Gap in Life Expectancy by Income: Implications for Federal Programs and Policy Responses. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/19015.
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FEM Future Elderly Model, a microsimulation model developed and maintained by the Roybal Center for Health Policy and Economics at the University of Southern California
HI the federal hospital insurance program, also known as Medicare Part A. This program helps cover the costs of inpatient care in hospitals and skilled nursing facilities, hospice care, and some home health care services
HRS Health and Retirement Study, a longitudinal, nationally representative survey of individuals aged 51 and older begun in 1992 and administered by the University of Michigan
IRR internal rate of return, the rate at which an individual would need to be willing to trade off between present and future income in order for the present value of the stream of Social Security benefits to be exactly equal to the present value of the stream of taxes paid
MCBS Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey, a continuous survey of a nationally representative sample of the Medicare population conducted by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
MEPS Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, a set of large-scale federal surveys of families and individuals, their medical providers (doctors, hospitals, pharmacies, etc.), and employers across the United States
NHANES National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey
NHIS National Health Interview Survey
NPV net present value
NRA normal retirement age, the age at which an individual can begin receiving unreduced Social Security benefits
OASDI the federal old-age, survivor, and disability insurance, commonly referred to as Social Security
Suggested Citation:"Acronyms." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. The Growing Gap in Life Expectancy by Income: Implications for Federal Programs and Policy Responses. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/19015.
×
OLS ordinary least squares
PIA primary insurance amount, the benefit a person would receive if he/she elects to begin receiving Social Security retirement benefits at his/her normal retirement age
SMI Supplementary Medical Insurance, which consists of Medicare Parts B, C, and D, helps pay for physician, outpatient, prescription drug, and other services
SSA Social Security Administration
SSI the federal Supplemental Security Income Program, designed to assist low-income aged, blind, and/or disabled people
Suggested Citation:"Acronyms." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. The Growing Gap in Life Expectancy by Income: Implications for Federal Programs and Policy Responses. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/19015.
×

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Suggested Citation:"Acronyms." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. The Growing Gap in Life Expectancy by Income: Implications for Federal Programs and Policy Responses. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/19015.
×
Page 157
Suggested Citation:"Acronyms." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. The Growing Gap in Life Expectancy by Income: Implications for Federal Programs and Policy Responses. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/19015.
×
Page 158
Suggested Citation:"Acronyms." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. The Growing Gap in Life Expectancy by Income: Implications for Federal Programs and Policy Responses. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/19015.
×
Page 159
Suggested Citation:"Acronyms." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. The Growing Gap in Life Expectancy by Income: Implications for Federal Programs and Policy Responses. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/19015.
×
Page 160
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The U.S. population is aging. Social Security projections suggest that between 2013 and 2050, the population aged 65 and over will almost double, from 45 million to 86 million. One key driver of population aging is ongoing increases in life expectancy. Average U.S. life expectancy was 67 years for males and 73 years for females five decades ago; the averages are now 76 and 81, respectively. It has long been the case that better-educated, higher-income people enjoy longer life expectancies than less-educated, lower-income people. The causes include early life conditions, behavioral factors (such as nutrition, exercise, and smoking behaviors), stress, and access to health care services, all of which can vary across education and income.

Our major entitlement programs – Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and Supplemental Security Income – have come to deliver disproportionately larger lifetime benefits to higher-income people because, on average, they are increasingly collecting those benefits over more years than others. This report studies the impact the growing gap in life expectancy has on the present value of lifetime benefits that people with higher or lower earnings will receive from major entitlement programs. The analysis presented in The Growing Gap in Life Expectancy by Income goes beyond an examination of the existing literature by providing the first comprehensive estimates of how lifetime benefits are affected by the changing distribution of life expectancy. The report also explores, from a lifetime benefit perspective, how the growing gap in longevity affects traditional policy analyses of reforms to the nation’s leading entitlement programs. This in-depth analysis of the economic impacts of the longevity gap will inform debate and assist decision makers, economists, and researchers.

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