Health Insurance Coverage of Individuals Ages 55-64, 1994-2007
Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI)
August 1, 2009
EBRI Notes, Vol. 30, No. 8, August 2009
This paper presents Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau’s March 2008 Current Population Survey (CPS) on the health insurance status of the near elderly, adults ages 55-64. EBRI’s estimates reveal that adults ages 55-64 were one of two groups - the other was children - most likely to have health insurance in 2007. That year, 12 percent of adults ages 55-64 were uninsured, compared with 31.9 percent of adults ages 21-24, 26 percent of those ages 25-34, and 23.5 percent of all younger adults. There were 4 million adults ages 55-64 without health insurance in 2007, accounting for 9 percent of the 45 million individuals under age 65 who were uninsured. The fact that adults ages 55-64 are the least likely age group of adults to be uninsured is usually overlooked when considering that employers have substantially cut back on employment-based health benefits for early retirees. It is also important to understand the health insurance status of individuals ages 55-64 because of access and affordability issues with the nongroup market. The erosion of retiree health insurance may ultimately change retirement patterns as employees nearing retirement age postpone their decision to retire upon learning that, without a job, they may not be able to obtain health insurance coverage or afford health care services that are not covered by insurance. The health insurance status of the population nearly eligible for Medicare also has implications for the Medicare program, to the degree that any increase in the uninsured population entering Medicare results in higher costs to the program.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 16
Keywords: Employment-based benefits, Health insurance coverage, Uninsured
JEL Classification: I1, J14, J32Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: August 13, 2009
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