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The role of health insurance in joint retirement among married couples

  • Kanika Kapur
  • Jeannette Rogowski

This paper examines the role of employer provided health insurance in the retirement decisions of dual working couples. The near elderly have high-expected medical expenditures; therefore, availability of health insurance is an important factor in their retirement decisions. We determine if access to retiree health insurance for early retirement enables couples to time their retirement together – a behavior called “joint retirement.” We find that wives’ retiree health insurance more than doubles the propensity to retire jointly, suggesting that health insurance is an important consideration in coordinating retirement decisions among couples. Even though retiree health insurance has a substantial effect on joint retirement, its effect on overall employment patterns is modest, accounting for a 2 percentage point fall in employment.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/954
File Function: First version, 2006
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by School of Economics, University College Dublin in its series Working Papers with number 200614.

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Date of creation: Nov 2006
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Handle: RePEc:ucn:wpaper:200614
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  1. Courtney Coile, 2003. "Retirement Incentives and Couples' Retirement Decisions," NBER Working Papers 9496, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Alan L. Gustman & Thomas L. Steinmeier, 1994. "Retirement in a Family Context: A Structural Model for Husbands and Wives," NBER Working Papers 4629, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Michael D. Hurd, 1988. "The Joint Retirement Decision of Husbands and Wives," NBER Working Papers 2803, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. 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.
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