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Key Findings Details

The Affordable Care Act as Retiree Health Insurance: Implications for Retirement and Social Security Claiming
Alan L. Gustman, Thomas L. Steinmeier and Nahid Tabatabai
WP 2016-343

  • Using data from the Health and Retirement Study, we find no evidence that for those with health insurance at work but not in retirement, the Affordable Care Act increased retirements over the period 2010 to 2014.
  • We also find no evidence that the Affordable Care Act changed retirement expectations or expected age of Social Security benefit claiming of those who, before ACA, had health insurance coverage when working, but not when retired.
  • An analysis based on a structural retirement model suggests that eventually ACA will increase the probability of retirement by those who initially had health insurance on the job but did not have employer-provided retiree health insurance by about half a percentage point at each year of age.
  • The structural retirement analysis also suggests that much of the effect of ACA on retirement will be realized within a few years of the change in the law.