Publications

Health Reform and Retirement

Objective

To analyze whether there was an increase in retirement or in part-time work among older workers after January 2014, when new health insurance coverage options became available because of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Method

We analyze trends in retirement and part-time work for individuals aged 50-64 years in the basic monthly Current Population Survey from January 2008 through June 2016. We test for a break in trend in January 2014. We also test for differences in trends, both before and after 2014, in states that expanded their Medicaid programs in January 2014 under the ACA compared with those that did not.

Results

We find that there was no change in the probability of retirement or part-time work among older workers in 2014 and later, either overall or in Medicaid expansion states relative to nonexpansion states.

Discussion

Although many observers had predicted that an unintended consequence of health reform would be reduced labor supply, we find no evidence of this for older workers in the first 2.5 years after the law's major coverage provisions took effect.