Unemployment has hit everyone hard since the economic downturn began in 2007. And while workers age 50-64 tend to have lower rates of uninsurance than other age groups, they are especially hard hit by losing their jobs and with them their employer-sponsored health benefits. About 8.6 million adults ages 50 to 64 were uninsured in 2009, 1.1 million more than in 2008, a bigger percentage increase than other age groups.
Beginning in 2014, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (also known as ACA) aims to make life easier for the uninsured through state-based insurance exchanges and subsidies available through them. But the ACA also contains provisions that may be especially helpful right now for uninsured 50-64 year olds.
One provision, the Early Retirement Reinsurance Program (ERRP), provides incentives for employers to maintain retiree health benefits for those aged 50-64. And because of their higher incidence of chronic conditions, those aged 50-64 are more likely to be able to qualify for the ACA-created Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP), through which people with health conditions that make private coverage unaffordable may be able to obtain coverage.
What provisions in the ACA are of special interest to those aged 50-64, especially older workers and early retirees? To what extent are boomers at risk of being uninsured? Will ERRP funding last to 2014?
To answer these and related questions, the Alliance for Health Reform and AARP sponsored a January 24 briefing. Panelists were: Sara Collins, The Commonwealth Fund; Richard Popper, HHS’ Office of Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight; John Rother, AARP; and Joseph Antos, American Enterprise Institute. Ed Howard of the Alliance moderated.
Full Transcript (Adobe Acrobat PDF)