For Retirees, Health Insurance Squeeze is Here

An important aspect of retirement income security is adequate health insurance coverage. For most workers and early retirees, the primary source of health insurance coverage is their or their spouse's current or former employer. Yet, employers have been cutting back on providing employer sponsored retiree health insurance benefits to their former employees. And those who still offer this benefit are shifting costs increasingly onto beneficiaries. A new report jointly released by the Center for American Progress and the Economic Policy Institute today documents what has happened to health insurance coverage as employers have limited access to affordable health insurance. In particular, reduced access to employer-sponsored retiree health insurance has already caused a decline in health insurance coverage for early retirees and Medicare-eligible retirees. And the problem was not limited to early retirees. Supplemental employer sponsored coverage for Medicare eligible retirees declined also. Declining health insurance coverage for retirees led to older workers to stay in the labor market longer, or to retire without health insurance coverage.

For more information, download the introduction of Health Insurance Coverage in Retirement: The Erosion of Retiree Income Security, by Christian E. Weller, Jeffrey Wenger and Elise Gould.

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