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Redefining RetirementHow Will Boomers Fare?$
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Brigitte Madrian, Olivia S. Mitchell, and Beth J. Soldo

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199230778

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199230778.001.0001

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Health Insurance Patterns Nearing Retirement

Health Insurance Patterns Nearing Retirement

Chapter:
(p.159) Chapter 8 Health Insurance Patterns Nearing Retirement
Source:
Redefining Retirement
Author(s):

Helen G. Levy

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199230778.003.0008

This chapter asks how well Baby Boomers are protected against later-life health shocks. While exposure to such shocks is relatively high, the realization of risk appears unlikely and relatively little wealth is at risk. Almost one-quarter of the original Health and Retirement Study cohort was uninsured at some point in the six-year window before Medicare eligibility, but only 2% had an uninsured hospitalization in this window. Moreover, the amount at stake for the median uninsured person is relatively low. Since many in this age bracket approach old age in poor financial shape, lack of assets may be a larger problem than lack of health insurance. Policies aimed at preventing poverty among the elderly may be more important than policies to expand health insurance coverage among those on the verge of retirement.

Keywords:   health shocks, Baby Boomer, Medicare, hospitalization, poverty, elderly, Health and Retirement Study

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