With the Affordable Care Act and even Medicare facing potential large legislative and regulatory changes, turning 65 years old no longer marks a financial-relief finish line for most Americans. A recent survey of adults between the ages of 50 and 64 conducted as part of the National Poll on Healthy Aging found that a quarter of survey-responders believed that they would be unable to afford health insurance in the next year, and half that they would be unable to afford health insurance once they retired.
Aaron Scherer, PhD, Associate in General Internal Medicine, examined the health care beliefs and perspectives of community members as they near retirement. In a recent article published in JAMA Network Open, Scherer and his collaborators at the National Poll on Healthy Aging found that 15% of the respondents who were currently working were delaying retirement to stay on employer-sponsored health insurance and 18% had avoided seeking medical care or filling a prescription due to cost. Notably, 2 out of every 3 respondents reported being very or somewhat concerned about potential changes in federal health insurance policy.
“Many adults aged 50 to 64 worry about their ability to afford health insurance in retirement and about potential future changes to their health insurance options, which may be magnified by the current uncertainty about future changes in federal health insurance policy,” Scherer said. “Policymakers should work toward policies that improve the stability and affordability of health insurance options for adults who are approaching retirement.”