Study of the implications of declining employer-sponsored health insurance for retirees

The Foundation's Changes in Health Care Financing and Organization program was designed to support research, demonstration, and evaluation projects examining major changes in health care financing.This study will investigate the effectiveness of the nation's health insurance system in providing coverage for older Americans. Many Americans retire from the labor force before they are eligible for Medicare coverage, yet only one-third of persons retiring from public sector jobs can depend on health insurance through their former employer. During the past decade, the percent of retirees that remain covered through employer-provided health insurance has dropped, a trend that is expected to continue for the foreseeable future. Alternative health insurance options are limited for retirees and their spouses. At a time in life when one's health status may be diminishing, the consequences of inadequate health coverage can be particularly alarming for this age group. The object of this study is to produce improved information for public policy development. Using data from the 1992-1994 Health and Retirement Study, the study will be conducted in two phases. The first phase will document the health coverage of this cohort of older Americans and describe their transitions as they leave their jobs and move into retirement. The next phase will explore the implications of declining employer-sponsored health coverage for retirement behavior and health insurance coverage for those who do retire. This will be accomplished using both econometric methods to isolate the effect of retiree health insurance on decisions to leave the labor force from other factors and microsimulation techniques to examine policy options for addressing older Americans' risk of being uninsured.

Grant Details

Amount Awarded $174,396.00

Awarded on: 4/18/1996

Time frame: 5/1/1996 - 4/30/1999

Grant Number: 29201


Urban Institute

2100 M Street, N.W.
Washington, 20037-1207


Sheila R. Zedlewski
Project Director