Urban Institute

To assess recent trends in Medicare enrollees’ access to physician services at the state and local level and to study the implications for labor supply decisions at older ages

  • Amount $474,087
  • City Washington, DC
  • Investigator Fredric Blavin
  • Year 2015
  • Program Research
  • Sub-program Working Longer

A number of economic studies have found that workers with access to private retiree health insurance are much more likely to retire than are their counterparts without such access who must rely entirely on Medicare. This grant to the Urban Institute supports a project that looks at the relationship between health insurance and decisions to extend work lives or to retire. Drawing on data from physician and household surveys, this project will address a number of important issues, including recent trends in physicians’ acceptance of Medicare patients, how Medicare beneficiaries’ access to care differs from those with private insurance, how these differences correlate with various factors like physician specialty, and whether these differences affect retirement decisions. Findings will shed important new light on the relative attractiveness of Medicare relative to private health insurance and the extent to which that comparison affects the exit of older workers from the labor market.

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