Forum Session

Examining the Links between Retirement and Health Insurance: Implications for Medicare Eligibility
March 24, 1999


Nora Super


Focusing on implications for the future labor force participation of older Americans, this Forum session looked at competing proposals under consideration in Congress to raise the Medicare eligibility from age 65 to 67 and to allow individuals below age 65 to buy in to the Medicare program. Particular attention was given to the extent to which the availability of health insurance affects an individual's decision to retire. Several leading academics presented the latest trends in retirement and health insurance status for older Americans. Following these presentations, panelists participated in a roundtable discussion on the implications for policy proposals to raise and lower the eligibility age. Key issues raised included the demographics of aging (narrowing worker to retiree ratio), federal budget implications, the likelihood of Americans working longer in the future, and the interrelatedness of Medicare eligibility to Social Security retirement and disability programs.


Joseph Quinn, PhD, Professor of Economics, Boston College; Paul Fronstin, PhD, Senior Research Associate, Employee Benefit Research Institute; Brigitte Madrian, PhD, Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago; Marilyn Moon, PhD, Senior Fellow, Urban Institute; Neil Howe, MA, MPhil, Senior Advisor, Concord Coalition; Joseph Antos, PhD, Assistant Director for Health and Human Services, Congressional Budget Office; Dale Yamamoto, FSA, Principal and Actuary, Hewitt Associates

Related Materials

More information available in the accompanying publication, Issue Brief No. 733.

See also the related Forum session on aging demographics (May 9, 2008).

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