Do Health Insurance Reforms Boost Demand for Older Workers by SES?

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The brief’s key findings are:

  • In the 1990s, most states adopted policies limiting the ability of health insurers to charge higher premiums for older workers in small firms.
  • The question is whether these changes made such workers more attractive to employers.
  • The analysis suggests the changes had little effect for older workers in small firms:
    • their earnings did improve, relative to those in larger firms, but by no more than for their younger colleagues; and
    • their employment did not increase at all.
  • These results suggest that more direct measures may be needed to boost demand for older workers.