Health Insurance and Retirement Decisions

64 Pages Posted: 11 Jan 2014

See all articles by John Karl Scholz

John Karl Scholz

University of Wisconsin - Madison - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Ananth Seshadri

University of Wisconsin - Madison - Department of Economics

Date Written: September 1, 2013

Abstract

We develop a rich model to study the complex interrelationship between health insurance and retirement decisions. The decision to retire depends on a number of factors including availability of health insurance, health shocks, pensions, Social Security, and how consumption and health interact in the utility function. We incorporate these features in a computational model of optimal wealth and retirement decisions, solving the model household-by-household using data from the HRS. We use the model to study two important SSA priority areas: first, to what extent do people remain in the labor force until age 65 in order to maintain health insurance for themselves (and after age 65 to maintain health insurance for their spouses)? Second, do early retirees have poorer health than others and does the availability of Medicare interact with their decision to claim benefits?

Keywords: health insurance, retirement decisions, pensions, Social Security, program interactions

Suggested Citation

Scholz, John Karl and Seshadri, Ananth, Health Insurance and Retirement Decisions (September 1, 2013). Michigan Retirement Research Center Research Paper No. 2013-292, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2376496 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2376496

John Karl Scholz (Contact Author)

University of Wisconsin - Madison - Department of Economics ( email )

1180 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706
United States
608-262-5380 (Phone)
608-262-2033 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
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Ananth Seshadri

University of Wisconsin - Madison - Department of Economics ( email )

1180 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706
United States
608-262-6196 (Phone)
608-263-3876 (Fax)

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