NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

EARLY RETIREES TRY TO FILL GAP IN HEALTH COVERAGE

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.

Consider:

  • 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.

For text:

http://www.usatoday.com/money/perfi/retirement/2008-01-14-boomer-health-coverage_N.htm

 

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