Health Care Costs Prompt Baby Boomers To Delay Retirement
USA Today on Wednesday, as part of an ongoing series about retirement issues in the 21st century, examined how many of the 1.6 million baby boomers at age 62 who will become eligible for Social Security this year "have postponed plans to retire" because of health care costs and other economic concerns.
In 2007, only 45% of large companies subsidized health insurance for early retirees, compared with 88% in 1991, according to Hewitt Associates. As a result, many employees who retire before age 65, when they become eligible for Medicare, would have to find a new source of health insurance, such as the individual coverage market, Rick McGill, head of retiree medical consulting at Hewitt, said.
However, McGill said, individual health insurance policies are expensive and often unavailable for early retirees. Between 20% and 40% of early retirees who apply for individual health insurance policies are rejected or have to pay higher premiums than other policyholders, he said (Block/Gopal, USA Today, 8/27).
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