Availability of Retiree Health Insurance Important Factor as Near-elderly Consider Leaving Work Force

Vol. III, No. 2
November 1, 1999

Researchers at the Urban Institute in Washington, D.C., recently completed a study examining how the availability and cost of health insurance affect older workers’ decisions to retire. The first phase of the project, led by Sheila Zedlewski, Ph.D., and Pamela Loprest, Ph.D., described the work and health insurance transitions of older persons, while the second phase of the project, led by Richard Johnson, Ph.D., and Amy Davidoff, estimated how changes in premium costs due to COBRA availability or Medicare reforms affect older workers’ decisions to retire before age 65. According to Johnson, “The results of this study have implications not only for Medicare reform, but for retirement policies as well, especially those regarding Social Security reform.”