NU Online News Service, Aug. 23, 6:03 p.m. – New figures from the U.S. Census Bureau show that 2000 was a pretty good year for health coverage for the “near elderly.”
The percentage of U.S. residents between the ages of 55 and 64 who had some kind of public or private health coverage in 2000 increased to 86.3%, from 85.5% in 1999.
The percentage of near elderly residents who were completely uninsured fell to 13.7%. That was the lowest level since 1995, according to an analysis by Paul Fronstin of the Employee Benefit Research Institute, Washington.
But Fronstin warns in the analysis, which appears in the August EBRI Notes newsletter, that the good times for the near elderly might be ending.
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“The currently slow economy, combined with erosion in retiree health benefits for future retirees and lack of a Medicare prescription drug benefit, will have profound implications for public policy,” Fronstin writes.