Uninsured Rose in 2002 as Number of Americans With Employment Based Health Benefits Declined

Income of the Elderly Population: 2002

November 2003, Vol. 24, No. 11
Paperback, 16 pp.
PDF, 159 kb
Employee Benefit Research Institute, 2003

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Executive Summary

Uninsured Rose in 2002 as Number of Americans With Employment Based Health Benefits Declined—This article provides an early look at the effect of a weak economy, combined with rising health benefit costs, on the number of Americans who have employment-based health benefits, who are covered by public programs, and who are uninsured. Among all Americans, 61.3 percent-or 175.3 million-were covered by employment-based health benefits during 2002, down from 63.6 percent in 2000. Initial findings indicate that this decline was due to erosion of coverage among both workers and nonworkers as small employers either dropped health benefits or required workers to pay more for them when they were offered.

Income of the Elderly Population: 2002—This article reviews the latest available data on the older population's income and how it has changed over time, as well as how the elderly's reliance on these sources varies across income levels. In 2002, the median income of the elderly was $13,994, down from $14,105 in 1998. Social Security accounted for 42.5 percent of their income, on average; pension and retirement plan income, 20.2 percent; income from assets, 14.0 percent; and earnings, 21.1 percent.