Feb 062013

Many US employers do offer their employees excellent health care benefits, and they should be commended for doing so.  It is not uncommon for people to hang onto a job, just to hang on to their healthcare benefits.  Some are even putting off retirement.

6health-benefits-retirementTying health insurance benefits directly to employment is forcing most Americans to work longer than they would have otherwise, a new study from the Employee Benefits Research Institute finds.

According to the study’s results, more than three fourths of retired Americans ended up working longer than they initially planned because they didn’t want to lose access to their employer-based health benefits. And a majority of the Americans who are currently in the workforce are also planning to delay their retirement in order to keep the insurance plans they have through their employer:

This builds upon previous research that shows the Great Recession has seriously impacted older Americans’ ability to retire. An estimated 62 percent of working Americans now report they’re planning to put off their retirement — up from 42 percent in 2010 — largely due to job losses and financial insecurity. These issues go hand-in-hand particularly because, as health care costs continue to rise, Americans are increasingly worried about being able to afford their insurance coverage…

Inserted from <Think Progress>

My concern with this is different from that of the author, because I’m not bothered that people who would like to retire before they are eligible for Medicare are inconvenienced.  However, it is better, if people who wish to retire early can do so, as it frees jobs for people who want to work.

However, I am concerned for employers who provide excellent health care for their employees.  If a greedier competitor provides no health care benefits, that puts the good employer at a competitive disadvantage.  With universal, single-payer coverage, such as Medicare for all, there will be no such inequities.  In addition, it would make US companies more competitive in the world economy.


  14 Responses to “Another Reason We Need Medicare for All”

  1. Medicare for all because it is the right thing to do!

  2. I am 58 and have arthritis and fibromyalgia. It is terrifying to be in a sitution like this and have no insurance and no job. Thank God I was approved for SS disability in only 9 months and now have Medicare. Some people are not so lucky. They end up waiting years before they get approved. Raising the retirement age is ridiculous because there are people out there who are not  able to work as long as some others.

  3. My brother has worked more than 30 years at a physically demanding job. He just turned 61 and knows there is no way he can continue his job until 65. Fortunately, he's in a union and he'll be able to continue his health care in the intervening years through the union, but it's going to cost him a large amount of his pension. His circumstances leave him out in the cold in re: SS disability. Not bad enough for disability, too bad to continue work at any job he has the skills to perform. And who hires a 61-year old? 

    • Marva, I would have him get the meanest lawyer he could find and go after his pension and disability.  There are times (and I know they are expensive, I have had to use one against a big company recently) but they can get the job done most of the time.

    • Marva, you raise an excellent point that I had not considered before.

  4. I am lucky because I have wonderful insurance, I pay dearly for it but you never know when you will need it.  I believe that Medicare should be there for everyone.  That is the least this country can do for its citizens.

  5. My husband and I both have insurance from our jobs, but as soon as we turned 65 and were eligible for Medicare, all our benefits were reduced and we had to start paying more.  Universal health care for allis the answer.  My 19 year old nephew was recently diagnosed with Crohn's disease.  My sister has received over $6000.00 in bills this month alone.  Her husband is disabled, due to a brain anuerysm, she only has her health insurance to care for all three.  How is this reasonable for someone who has worked all her life?

  6. Universal healthcare is the only way to go.  People like Edie's sister should not be driven to destitution for healthcare costs that are beyond their control.

    Where does "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" fit into the healthcare debate?  Or is that only for the legislators with their goldplated package that treats a hangnail as a major event?

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