EBRI Notes

‘Health Insurance Coverage of Individuals Ages 55–64, 1994–2007’ and ‘The Basics of Social Security, Updated With the 2009 Board of Trustees Report’

Aug 1, 2009 16  pages


Health Insurance Coverage of Individuals Ages 55–64,1994–2007

MOST LIKELY TO HAVE COVERAGE: EBRI estimates from the latest Current Population Survey data show adults ages 55–64 were one of two groups—the other was children—most likely to have health insurance coverage in 2007. That year, 12 percent of adults ages 55–64 were uninsured, compared with about 32 percent of adults ages 21–24, 26 percent of those ages 25–34, and 23.5 percent of all younger adults. There were 4 million adults ages 55–64 without health insurance in 2007, accounting for 9 percent of the 45 million individuals under age 65 who were uninsured.

AN OVERLOOKED GROUP: The fact that adults ages 55–64 are the least likely age group of adults to be uninsured is usually overlooked when considering that employers have substantially cut back on employment-based health benefits for early retirees. It is also important to understand the health insurance status of individuals ages 55–64 because of access and affordability issues with the nongroup market.

IMPACT OF EROSION OF RETIREE HEALTH BENEFITS: The erosion of retiree health insurance may ultimately change retirement patterns as employees nearing retirement age postpone their decision to retire upon learning that, without a job, they may not be able to obtain health insurance coverage or afford health care services that are not covered by insurance. The health insurance status of the population nearly eligible for Medicare also has implications for the Medicare program, to the degree that any increase in the uninsured population entering Medicare results in higher costs to the program.


The Basics of Social Security, Updated With the 2009 Board of Trustees Report

KEY FUNDING DATES: According to the most recent Social Security trustees report, under intermediate assumptions, the combined Old-Age and Survivors’ Disability Insurance (OASDI) trust fund expenses are expected to exceed income from taxes in 2016. By 2024, OASDI expenses are expected to exceed income from taxes plus interest income, and the trust fund is expected to be exhausted by 2037.

UNFUNDED OBLIGATIONS: The unfunded obligation of the OASDI trust funds, for 1935 through the end of the 75-year projection period ending in 2083, is estimated to be $5.3 trillion.

SHARE OF GDP: In 2009, expenditures of the OASDI trust funds are estimated to be equivalent to 4.8 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). By 2085, that percentage is estimated to increase to 5.9 percent.