Other Free Encyclopedias » Medicine Encyclopedia » Aging Healthy - Part 2 » Employee Health Insurance - The History And Economic Theory Of Employer-provided Health Insurance, Prevalence And Types Of Health Insurance Coverage

Employee Health Insurance - Summary

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For many older Americans, health insurance and employment are very closely tied. The majority of the near-elderly receive health insurance coverage as a benefit from their employer, although economic theory indicates that the true cost of insurance is borne by the employee through lower wages. Having employers provide health insurance provides some tax benefits for employees, since health insurance benefits are not taxable, but it also introduces constraints on the work and retirement decisions of the near-elderly. With employer-provided benefits ending when an individual leaves a job, and a reduction in the percentage of employers who are offering health benefits to retirees, individuals under the age of sixty-five may find they lose their insurance coverage if they leave their job. Legislation such as COBRA and HIPAA has attempted to lessen this burden by allowing individuals to continue to purchase insurance from their former employers, reducing pre-existing condition limitations for insurance companies, and expanding the guarantee of access to group and individual insurance policies. However, until an individual reaches age sixty-five and is eligible for Medicare, health insurance coverage continues to be an important issue for aging Americans.



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