Economic Impact of Adverse Health Events on the Uninsured Near Elderly

The researchers assessed how insurance status affects personal wealth and earnings in the population nearing age 65 that have a heightened probability of adverse health but have not yet qualified for Medicare. Specifically, they analyzed: 1) the extent to which measurable dimensions of household wealth (e.g., total net worth, home equity, funds in retirement plans) fall after an adverse health event; 2) the extent to which individuals in the U.S. who lack health insurance suffer disproportionate losses in household wealth; 3) whether the probability of sentinel financial events, including loss of home and loss of estate, increases after an adverse health event; and 4) the extent to which the probability of a sentinel financial event is higher for individuals who lack health insurance. The objective of this study was to better understand the indirect effects of lack of insurance on individuals’ overall financial well-being.