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Health Insurance Coverage at Midlife: Characteristics, Costs, and Dynamics

Archived Abstract of Former PSC Researcher

Johnson, Richard W., and Stephen Crystal. "Health Insurance Coverage at Midlife: Characteristics, Costs, and Dynamics." AHEAD/HRS Report No. 96-041. July 1996.

This paper analyzes recent data from the first two waves of the Health and Retirement Survey to evaluate the prevalence of different types of health insurance coverage, characteristics of different plan types, and changes in coverage among individuals approaching retirement age. Overall rates of coverage are quite high among the middle-aged, but the risk of non-coverage is also high within many disadvantaged groups, including Hispanics, low-wage earners, and those in poor health. Managed care plans are widespread, enrolling 60 percent of individuals with health benefits; in addition, one-fourth of those enrolled in traditional fee-for-service plans report that their plan restricts access to specialists. Few plans provide first-dollar coverage, and many employers require workers to contribute toward their health plans.

Dataset(s): Health and Retirement Study: U.S., 1992 (first wave) and 1994 (second wave).

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