A New Group of Medicaid Nursing Home Residents: The Unexpected Trend of Those Under age 65 Using Nursing Homes in Ohio

November 9, 2017


  • Ian "Matt" Nelson
  • John R. Bowblis

Typically thought of as a long-term care option for older residents, the proportion of Ohio’s long-stay Medicaid nursing home residents under the age of 65 has tripled over the last 20 years. In 2015, Ohio ranked 11th nationally in the proportion of Medicaid residents under age 65 with nursing home stays of 100 or more days. Using national administrative data, we compared two groups of long-stay Medicaid residents: under age 65, age 65 and over. Findings show that these two groups differ in care needs. Notably, nearly three in ten younger residents have fewer than two activities of daily living. Additionally, 50% of the under age 65 long-stay Medicaid residents have severe mental illness. Given the growth in the younger long-stay population, further research is needed to understand what contributes to low-care residents remaining in nursing homes on a long-stay basis and to examine what steps are needed to provide appropriate services to this group.


  • Long-Term Care Decision Making
  • Long-Term Care Policy and Financing
  • Mental Health