Loss of Employer-Based Health Insurance in Early Retirement Affects Mental, Physical Health
The loss of private health insurance from an employer can lead to poorer mental and physical health as older adults transition to early retirement. The study evaluated the impact of private insurance coverage on the symptoms of depression, activities of daily living (such as getting dressed), and instrumental activities of daily life (such as shopping for groceries and taking medications) during the transition from full-time work to early full retirement. The findings are published in The Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Social Sciences. Private health insurance is an important factor for the health of early retirees, and those who maintain steady coverage tend to fare best in retirement. Losing insurance from an employer was associated with increased symptoms of depression and limitations in daily activities. Employment-based insurance was typically associated with better health. Even when retirees sought private non-group insurance, this insurance didn’t offset the negative consequences of being without employment-based insurance. “If people are getting insurance from places other than their employer, these kinds of insurance tend to be less good,” said Ben Lennox Kail, assistant professor in the Department of Sociology at Georgia State. “And if people are getting lower-quality insurances, older adults are going to be sicker upon retirement.”
David Wingate is an elder law attorney at the Elder Law Office of David Wingate, LLC. The elder law office services clients with powers of attorneys, living wills, Wills, Trusts, Medicaid and asset protection. The Elder Law office has locations in Frederick and Montgomery Counties, Maryland.