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Senior Couple

Health Care Coverage for an Aging Workforce

Baby Boomers, the more than 75 million Americans born in the post-WWII boom era (1946-1964), started turning 65 on January 1, 2011. On average, 10,000 Baby Boomers are reaching age 65 every day, and this trend will continue for another 17 years through December 31, 2029. The U.S. Department of Labor report on aging Baby Boomers reveals that “77 million baby boomers represent about 37 percent of the nation’s total population 16 years of age and older. They will continue to represent a significant portion of the population until at least 2025, when they will be 65 million, ranging in age from 61-79, and will still make up 25 percent of the population 16 and older.”

Interestingly, the approach to retirement Baby Boomers have taken is a fair departure from how their parents and grandparents viewed retirement.  According to a 2010 article by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), “Almost three-in-ten (29%) of … working Boomers expect to retire at age 70 or later … Four-in-ten (40%) say they ‘plan to work until [they] drop.’”  AARP Executive Vice President Steve Cone shared his insight on the resulting shift in workplace demographics: “Some are staying on the job to shore up their nest eggs; others just can’t imagine life without work. Either way, Boomers are changing the math on what ‘retirement age’ is.”

Consequently, an increasingly aging workforce affects how employers need to approach the health care insurance needs of their employees. Because Senior workers tend to have increased health care needs in comparison to their younger counterparts, insurance plans covering Seniors traditionally come with a higher premium cost. As a result, it usually makes sense to offer separate coverage for Seniors, especially because doing so can also reduce premium costs for Seniors.  If all employees are covered under the same health insurance plan, the cost of coverage for all employees will increase due to the presence of Senior workers on the plan. Whereas, employers who present options that can better cover the needs of their Senior employees generally reduce the cost of coverage for all. Additionally, the plans offered by commercial insurance companies help Seniors to cover health care services that Medicare does not, while better managing their care and related expenditures.

The Annual Enrollment Period for Medicare supplemental plans is fast approaching! Reach out to your Broker or the BenefitMall Senior Products Division for more information about how utilizing Senior products can better cover the needs of all of your employees.

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