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.
Tying 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.