Is the Affordable Care Act Affecting Retirement Yet?

Published: 2018
Project ID: UM18-04


In creating new alternatives to employer-sponsored health insurance, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) might, it was thought, reduce labor supply. Somewhat surprisingly, a number of studies so far have failed to find evidence of such a reduction. The present work would approach the subject again, using the most recent data and a detailed analysis. Specifically, we propose to extend our own earlier analysis of retirement trends in the Current Population Survey with two years of additional data, running through mid-2018. And, we propose to use Health and Retirement Study data, 2006-2016, to look at transitions from work to retirement. We will emphasize data for older Americans and subgroups defined by health status, since the labor supply of older Americans, especially those in fair or poor health, seem the most likely to be affected. Finally, in addition to looking at national trends, we will compare trends for the 31 states that expanded Medicaid under the ACA versus the 19 that did not.