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The Role of Retiree Health Insurance in the Employment Behavior of Older Men

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  • David M. Blau
  • Donna B. Gilleskie

Abstract

We model the employment and medical care decisions of older men who face health risk. The budget constraint incorporates detailed characteristics of health insurance as well as Social Security and private pensions. A man whose health insurance is tied to continued employment with his current employer faces the risk of large medical expenditures in the event of an adverse health shock if he retires before becoming eligible for Medicare at age 65. A man whose employer provides retiree health insurance or who has access to other health insurance not tied to his employment decision (e.g., from his wife) can retire before age 65 without consequences for his health insurance coverage. We use data from the Health and Retirement Survey to estimate the parameters of the model using structural methods. Simulations based on the estimates imply that changes in health insurance, including access and restrictions to retiree health insurance and Medicare have a modest impact on employment behavior among older males.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 10100.

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Date of creation: Nov 2003
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Publication status: published as David M. Blau & Donna B. Gilleskie, 2008. "The Role Of Retiree Health Insurance In The Employment Behavior Of Older Men," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 49(2), pages 475-514, 05.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10100

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  1. Blau, David M, 1994. "Labor Force Dynamics of Older Men," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(1), pages 117-56, January.
  2. John Rust & Christopher Phelan, 1994. "How Social Security and Medicare Affect Retirement Behavior in a World of Incomplete Markets," Public Economics 9406005, EconWPA, revised 06 Jul 1994.
  3. Lynn A. Karoly & Jeannette A. Rogowski, 1994. "The effect of access to post-retirement health insurance on the decision to retire early," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 48(1), pages 103-123, October.
  4. Bridgitte C. Madrian, 1994. "The Effect of Health Insurance on Retirement," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 25(1), pages 181-152.
  5. Jonathan Gruber & Brigitte C. Madrian, 1996. "Health Insurance and Early Retirement: Evidence from the Availability of Continuation Coverage," NBER Chapters, in: Advances in the Economics of Aging, pages 115-146 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. David M, Blau & Donna B, Gilleskie, 2003. "Health Insurance and Retirement of Married Couples," Working Papers 2003-41, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  7. John Rust, 1989. "Behavior of male workers at the end of the life-cycle: an empirical analysis of states and controls," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 6, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  8. Berkovec, James & Stern, Steven, 1991. "Job Exit Behavior of Older Men," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(1), pages 189-210, January.
  9. Gruber, J. & Madrian, B.C., 1994. "Health Insurance Availability and the Retirement Decision," Working papers 94-04, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  10. Alan L. Gustman & Thomas L. Steinmeier, 1993. "Employer Provided Health Insurance and Retirement Behavior," NBER Working Papers 4307, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Donna B. Gilleskie, 1998. "A Dynamic Stochastic Model of Medical Care Use and Work Absence," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(1), pages 1-46, January.
  12. Gilleskie, Donna B. & Harrison, Amy L., 1998. "The effect of endogenous health inputs on the relationship between health and education," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 279-295, June.
  13. Hurd, Michael D, 1989. "Mortality Risk and Bequests," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(4), pages 779-813, July.
  14. John Bound & Michael Schoenbaum & Todd R. Stinebrickner & Timothy Waidmann, 1998. "The Dynamic Effects of Health on the Labor Force Transitions of Older Workers," NBER Working Papers 6777, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Robin L. Lumsdaine & James H. Stock & David A. Wise, 1992. "Pension Plan Provisions and Retirement: Men & Women, Medicare, and Models," NBER Working Papers 4201, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Robin L. Lumsdaine & James H. Stock & David A. Wise, 1994. "Pension Plan Provisions and Retirement: Men and Women, Medicare, and Models," NBER Chapters, in: Studies in the Economics of Aging, pages 183-222 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Keeler, Emmett B. & Rolph, John E., 1988. "The demand for episodes of treatment in the health insurance experiment," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(4), pages 337-367, December.
  18. Martha Starr-McCluer, 1994. "Health insurance and precautionary saving," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 94-10, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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