EBRI Notes

"The Relationship Between Income and Health Insurance; Retirement Annuity and Employment-Based Pension Income; and Facts from EBRI: Finances of Employee Benefits, 1960-2003"

Feb 1, 2005 20  pages


The Relationship Between Income and Health Insurance

The Census Bureau finds that individuals with family income of $50,000 or more account for 11 million individuals (or 25 percent of the uninsured) and are the fastest-growing segment of the uninsured. This report examines why this apparently high-income population does not have health insurance coverage.

Simply looking at family income as a determinant of health insurance coverage masks two important findings: 3.9 million of the 11 million uninsured with family income of $50,000 or more are either adult children who are not full-time students and are continuing to live with their parents, or they are adults related to the main family, and 3.2 million of them earn less than $50,000 per year.

The Census Bureau definitions of “family” and “family income” results in too many individuals being classified as having family income at or above $50,000. A more accurate measure indicates about 18 percent of the uninsured have family income of $50,000 or more.

Retirement Annuity and Employment-Based Pension Income

The most recent Census Bureau data confirm earlier findings that gender, marital status, age, education, and other demographic variables have a significant impact on the likelihood of a worker receiving employment-based pension income in retirement.

In 2003, 45.3 percent of men over age 65 received annuity and/or pension income, with a mean amount of $16,470 per year, compared with 28.3 percent and $9,217, respectively, for women. Hence, a woman age 65 or older in 2003 was less than two-thirds (62 percent) as likely to receive an annuity and/or pension payment as her male counterpart, and if she did, her mean benefit was likely to be about half (56 percent) of that received by a man in the same age group.