Trends In Retiree Health Insurance, 1997-2003

Buchmueller, Thomas; Johnson, Richard W.; Lo Sasso, Anthony T.
November 2006
Health Affairs;Nov/Dec2006, Vol. 25 Issue 6, p1507
Academic Journal
Although millions of older Americans rely on employer-sponsored retiree health benefits to help pay their medical expenses, declines in this coverage have been documented, Using data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, our findings reveal steady erosion in retiree health benefits since the mid-1990s. Based on this much larger survey of private establishments than previous studies have used, we conclude that in 2003 only about one-quarter of private-sector employees worked at establishments that offered health benefits to retirees, down from 32 percent in 1997. Private firms have also been passing higher shares of health insurance costs to retirees.


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