The Role of Health Insurance in Unretirement Decisions

Published: 2005
Project ID: UM05-S4


Most research in the area of retirement has focused on an individual’s decision to retire or continue working. Debate in the field tends to focus on what model best fits retirement decision behavior. What is often neglected is the fact that an individual’s working career does not always end with retirement. Many retirees choose to go back to work either on a part-time or full-time basis. This paper will attempt to examine why these retirees choose to go back to work after retiring, and specifically how much impact the lack of health insurance provision in retirement has on that decision. The Health and Retirement Survey provides a unique opportunity to study this question. Due to the longitudinal nature of the survey, individuals can be followed and examined over a twelve year period. After isolating other potential causes of leaving retirement such as health changes, planned work in retirement, and demographic characteristics, this study will show using a survival time model that the provision of health insurance has a dramatic effect on one’s decision to return to the work force


Ludmila Rovba