NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


January 16, 2008

Americans are working longer, but most of them still retire before they're eligible for Medicare, leaving a gap in coverage many retirees are struggling to fill, says USA Today.


  • In 2007, only a third of large employers offered retiree health insurance, down from 66 percent in 1988, according to a survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research & Education Trust.
  • Only 5 percent of employers with fewer than 200 employees offered retiree health insurance last year.
  • Overall, about 16 percent of individuals 50 to 64 are uninsured, according to AARP.

The millions who will retire early without company-provided health insurance may need to buy a health care policy to last them until Medicare kicks in at age 65.  Unfortunately, individual policies for people in their 60s can be hugely expensive, with premiums topping $900 a month for family coverage.  And those in poor health might be unable to find a policy at any price.   Those companies that continue to provide retiree health insurance are reducing benefits or requiring retirees to pay more for their coverage.

Source: Sandra Block, "Early retirees try to fill gap in health coverage," USA Today, January 15, 2008.

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