EBRI Notes

"State Basic Benefit Laws: Are They Reaching the Uninsured?" and "Retiree Health and Health Care Reform" and "Americans Would Trade Some Pension Benefits for Increased Health Insurance, According to Recent EBRI/Gallup Survey"

Dec 1, 1991 8  pages

Summary

State Basic Benefit Laws: Are They Reaching the Uninsured?—More than 34 million persons under age 65ÔÇÉrepresenting 16 percent of the 218 million persons in this group—currently do not have health insurance. Among this population, nearly 30 million persons are working or are dependents of workers. Forty-six percent of the working uninsured, or 13.5 million people, work for firms with fewer than 25 employees.1 Health care cost analysts often point out that one reason for the low level of coverage among employees of small firms is the prevalence of state mandated benefit laws, which they contend increase the cost of health care premiums.

Retiree Health and Health Care Reform—Although many policymakers currently are calling for comprehensive reform of the U.S. health care system, a number of recent proposals have focused on expanding coverage for specific groups. Some of these proposals would affect current retirees and people near retirement age. Legislation has been introduced that would reduce Medicare eligibility to age 60, eliminate the waiting period required prior to Medicare eligibility for Social Security Disability Insurance (DI) beneficiaries, and allow dependents of Medicare beneficiaries to purchase coverage.

Americans Would Trade Some Pension Benefits for Increased Health Insurance, According to Recent EBRI/Gallup Survey—Sixty percent of Americans said they would be willing to accept a reduction in employer contributions to a pension plan for increased health benefits, according to a recent public opinion survey conducted by EBRI and The Gallup Organization, Inc. Those most likely to be willing to accept this exchange were respondents with annual incomes less than $20,000 (66 percent), females (65 percent), and those aged 18–34 (65 percent).