Conference Identifies Issues Impacting Health Insurance for Older Workers Not Covered by Medicare

Conference and paper on filling gaps in health insurance coverage for older Americans not yet eligible for Medicare

The National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI), a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization working to promote informed policy-making on social insurance, devoted a session of its January 19–20, 2006, annual policy research conference to the problem of ensuring health insurance coverage for older workers.

The session, "Disability, Social Insurance, and Health Coverage at Older Ages," was organized as many of the traditional building blocks of retirement security were changing, including:

  • The Social Security full-benefit retirement age was rising.
  • Employers were cutting back on promised pensions and retiree health benefits.
  • Americans will need to work longer to make ends meet in old age.

Key Results

  • Approximately 250 people attended, including congressional and executive branch staff, business and labor leaders, researchers, academics, and representatives of trade associations, membership organizations and the press.

  • The session included four presentations:

    • "Disability and Retirement among Aging Baby Boomers," by Ralph Smith, PhD (Congressional Budget Office).
    • "The Fraction of Disability Caused at Work," by Robert T. Reville, PhD, MA (RAND), and Robert F. Schoeni, PhD (University of Michigan).
    • "New Evidence on Health Coverage for Aging Boomers," by Sara R. Collins, PhD (Commonwealth Fund).
    • "Improving Health Coverage before Medicare," by Paul N. Van de Water, PhD (National Academy of Social Insurance).

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