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Ensuring Health and Income Security for an Aging Workforce

By: Virginia Reno and June Eichner
Published: December 2000
Health and Income Security for an Aging Workforce
Brief No. 1 ~ December 2000

Summary: America's health and income security systems will face new challenges in the next two decades as baby boomers pass through the second half of their work lives. At older ages, the risk of illness and disability rises, employment-based health insurance costs more, and involuntary job loss takes on new dimensions. At the same time, employment relationships are changing and federal policies are seeking to encourage people to work longer and delay retirement.

Existing health and income security systems — Social Security, Medicare, workers' compensation, unemployment insurance, employer-sponsored health insurance, pensions and disability insurance — tend to be analyzed one at a time. Yet, changes in one program can have unintended consequences on others, as well as on the fortunes and misfortunes of workers and their families. This Brief is first in an Academy series that examines cross-cutting issues in ensuring health and income security for an aging workforce.