A recent Fast Facts from EBRI said in 2006, 12.7% of individuals ages 55 – 64 were uninsured, compared to 17.9% across all ages. Workers ages 55-64 have experienced a slight erosion in health insurance coverage and a slight increase in the likelihood of being uninsured, but there has been no erosion in health insurance coverage rates among retirees ages 55-64.
In 2006, 78.4% of workers ages 55-64 were covered by an employment-based health plan, down from 80.1% in 2003, but higher than the levels seen in the late-1990s, according to the report. The percentage uninsured increased from 9.7% in 1999 to 11.1% in 2006.
The percentage of retirees ages 55-64 with employment-based health benefits from either a former employer or spouse bounced between 56% and 60% from 1994 to 2006. During this time, the uninsured rate for this group ranged between 13.6% and 16.4%, the report said.
Since the mid-90’s retirees ages 55-64 are more likely to get employment-based coverage through another family member and less likely to get it through a former employer. The percentage of retirees with coverage through a former employer was at 35.4% in 2006, the lowest level since 1994 except during 2000. Meanwhile, the percentage of retirees with coverage through a family member was 22.6% in 2006, the highest level since 1994.
Overall, the percentage of workers reporting that they have access to health benefits through their job is largely unchanged from the mid-1990s. In 2005, 74% of workers who were not self-employed reported they were eligible for health benefits through their job, compared to 73.6% in 1995.
Among all individuals under age 65, 62% were covered by an employment-based health plan, with 70.9% of working adults covered, 37.5% of nonworking adults covered, and 57.1% of children covered.
Fronstin’s testimony is available here .
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